There are all sorts of 'what ifs' about both seatbelts and airbags. But
if you ask those who have to deal with the aftermath of road smashes
*both* have reduced serious injury and deaths. With seatbelts being by far
the more important of the two.
The one proviso appears to be with small children in the front of the car
who aren't belted in. However, these should be in the back in the correct
*I don't suffer from insanity -- I'm a carrier
Dave Plowman firstname.lastname@example.org London SW
Not true. From the perspective of the airbag, everything it needs to know is
a constant if the seat belts are in use. The parameters of the accident
itself might be considered to be an unknown, but the location of the
occupants that the airbags are meant to protect is a known constant. If the
occupants are properly strapped in, AND the airbag cannot protect them
adequately, then the conditions of the accident are truely horrific.
I would agree with that, mostly because it supports taht which I have
already been saying. Airbags by themselves do almost nothing, and there is
ample evidence that they -- by themselves -- actually may cause even more
serious injuries than would have occurred if they were not there. Belts
provide the best protection, and couple a belt with a bag, and the
protection is even better.
Dave - they are Americans - they have free will and with that mentality it may
be much better to hit the windscreen first - one less idiot.
The seat belt thing and air bags were primarily for the laminated screen the US
cars had where we only had toughened.
Laminated crushes the skull then when a hole finally appears it will scrape
every last bit of skin and flesh from the skull and face area.
Handy if you don't want to be recognised but really makes a mess on the carpet!
UK airbags are smaller than American airbags because they work in
conjunction with the seat belts. Americans dont wear seta belts so their
airbags are bigger to compensate. Even with the bigger airbags it is still
better to wear the seatbelts. Safer
The rate of seat belt use continues to climb in the USA, it's been over
60% for ten years, and it now stands at over 80%. (See
http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/810677.PDF ) (In my cars it's 100%.)
I wish I could say it was due to education rather than seat belt laws,
but I suspect the latter have increased the rate of use.
Further, second- and later-generation air bags deploy with different
amounts of force depending on whether the occupant is wearing a seat
belt. It's not at all clear to me what this has to do with bag size.
Unfortunately Jeff, when faced with this exact claim in the past, I had
the same response as yours. I spent the time and did the research and
uncovered that at least part of the drive to put in airbags was in fact
a misguided attempt to provide passive safety for the dolts that are too
stupid to provide their own by buckling up.
I agree with you entirely that they do increase the safety of a belt and
therefore are worth having, but just wanted to point out that there is a
shred of truth in that claim.
It's been so widely reported in the UK - and the bit about US airbags (at
one time if not now) being larger than elsewhere - that I can't believe
it's not true. But if it is, can others confirm that US airbags are
disabled if seatbelts are not worn?
*Hard work has a future payoff. Laziness pays off NOW.
Dave Plowman email@example.com London SW
That is not true. In fact, most seatbelt systems *IN NEWEW CARS*
will inflate (explode) with more force if it detects that the seat belt
is not in use but someone is in the seat (smart airbag system). NHTSA
finally recognized that airbags themselves were causing injuries.
However, in the front passenger seat position the airbag can in some
cases be disabled to provide for the case where an infant seat is
placed there, because it's inflation could kill the backwards-facing infant.
This is a requirement in vehicles that have no back seats (trucks in
particular, although it catches Boxsters and such, too.)
I'm sure that these facts are somewhere on the NHTSA website,
but like all govt stuff it's hard to actually find what you want.
That is at least true of the first generation of airbags. They were
intended to restrain a *170*- pound unbelted individual. The second
generation belts as installed in my Jaguar have a low-power trigger
for a light individual sitting in the front passenger seat and I
believe it fires whether there is a belt in use or not - as long as it
detectes weight on the seat.
Not if the seat is occupied. The only airbag system conditions I know
of that disable the bag are those that detect the seat is *unoccupied*
(in which case you can save the cost of a needlessly fired airbag in a
collision) or where it is manually switched because of a special
condition (a two-seat vehicle with the need to carry an infant or
child seat in front - like the Miata-driving chicks who 'suddenly' end
up as single parents).
Been there; done that
The original US spec was to restrain an UNBELTED 160 pound individual. The
idea was that we were too stupid to buckle up and therefore needed a passive
system with such capability. It's been a contributor to a number of
needless deaths ... too much restraint for too small a person too close to
R / John
On 5 Giu, 10:10, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Ideally, you should wear your seat belts AND drive a car with airbags.
Between the two, seat belts are the more basic and important.
In the US, people tend not to wear seat belts and so manufacturers
modify the cars for that market (US airbags fire stronger so that they
get fully inflated earlier, so as not to push back a person without
seat belts: the point is to make people hit the airbag when it's
already started deflating). If you don't have an american car and you
don't wear seat belts, you are more likely to hit the airbag while
it's still inflating thus getting an even stronger blow (the harder
the accident, the earlier you hit the airbag). However a hard accident
without belts is unlikely to leave you alive, with or without
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