That's funny, I remember mid 90's, being told that they were necessary to save the lives of the folks too dumb to wear belts. That is why, a few years later the big hoopla started about the opening force of the OLD generation air bags being strong enough to kill occupants who weren't wearing the belts. Since the bags, as mentioned earlier in this group, only save an add'l 5%, why wasn't there a bigger push to make seat belt use non-optional? or was the 5% increase because people are scared to drive without the belts for fear of worse injury from the bags, so the useage of belts has gone up? Prove your 99%...
For every accident that "the belt saved his life" I remember the first MVA that I was involved with. A flatbed tractor trailer (empty) slid across a 4 lane roadway, the cab in the oncoming curb lane, the trailer end swung around on a bend, across both lanes on my side of the roadway. Unfortunately for the driver in front of me, he was wearing a standard shoulder/lap combo, that locked into place as he hammered the brake pedal (it is supposed to do that under rapid decelleration, right?). His passenger, not wearing a belt, was able to duck as the trailer took the roof off. Would that driver still be driving if he could have ducked ? We won't know, but watching the glass fall over my car, I'm sure that the belt DIDN'T save his life....................
I've seen many non-interstate accidents that just don't 'prove' that belts save lives, but I have heard about accidental discharges, potentially causing accidents and injury, as well as activations that have killed rescue workers, all of which have led to another industry: selling protective devices to fire/ems crews to keep the workers from being injured by the bags unintentional activation.
Now the time in class for DOT classes for vehicle rescue has more than doubled. All thanks to the advent of SRS and hybrids, each of which has its own class now. Heaven help the poor country area medic/rescuer who has to pay for their own training, because the rural area is too poor to help. If they can't miss work to go to the new training, they don't know what explosive cylinders or high voltage wiring that new car has, nor where they might be, but he knows the construction principles haven't drastically changed much since the unibody became popular, so he/she cuts where the metal needs removed to save someone's life. later we can read both obit's in the local paper. It's amazing just how much trouble can be caused by such a small change in the manufacturing process, simply to improve our quality of life.
G wrote:<BR><BR>> <BR>the feds forced the issue to save the lives of those
who didn't want to wear a <BR>seatbelt, and now<BR><BR>the folks who were
supposed to be "saved" can be killed by the device...<BR><BR>Wrong! Air
bags were Never designed to take the place of seat belts. They were and
<BR>are still intended as a suppliment to the seat belts. SRS-Supplimental
Restraint <BR>System. A real good way to be injured or killed in a crash with
an SRS equipped <BR>vehicle is to not wear a seat belt. Yes, they have been
known to cause facial <BR>abrasions, but I'd trade that for a neck injury any
day. Seat belts have been known to <BR>cause injury in some situations, but
99% of the time they save lives. Same with SRS. <BR>Nothing is