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Thread: Inflatable/four point safety belts in the works?

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Inflatable/four point safety belts in the works?

    DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 29, 2007 ? Responding to the changing demographics of today's driving population, Ford Motor Company is researching two advanced next-generation safety belt technologies that could help further reduce injury risk in vehicle crashes.
    One of Ford?s possible next-generation safety belts incorporates a four-point ?belt and suspenders? design in lieu of the familiar three-point safety belt, while a second possible future safety belt incorporates an air bag directly into the belt itself. A number of technical challenges still need to be overcome before such restraint systems could ever be used, but these technologies might one day further enhance safety belt effectiveness.

    Inflatable Safety Belts

    As its name suggests, the inflatable rear safety belt fills with air during a crash, enhancing protection for the rear seat passenger.

    A strap of air bag material is hidden in the seat belt webbing. The strap inflates into a cylindrical shape when frontal air bags deploy. The concept of inflatable belts is to spread forces from a vehicle crash over a broader section of the body than traditional safety belts, further helping to reduce the pressure on the chest and helping to control the motion of the head and neck.

    Early research has shown that the inflatable belt may be effective for enhancing protection of the occupants in the rear seat. Preliminary consumer research indicated that the thicker safety belt (when not inflated) seemed more comfortable to some people, as compared with a standard safety belt, because customers said it felt like it was padded.

    Four-Point Safety Belts

    Recent customer research showed Ford scientists and engineers that some consumers perceive four-point belts to be safer, as well as more comfortable and, depending on their design, easier to use than traditional three-point belts.

    Ford scientists are using this feedback ? and the correlating data ? as research continues on this potential safety belt of the future.

    While the four-point safety belt currently is not allowed by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208, Ford Motor Company so far holds two patents for the new technology. In addition, Ford is working with lawmakers to demonstrate the benefits of this new four-point safety belt technology.

    Said Dr. Priya Prasad, Ford Technical Fellow for Safety, "Even with the variety of advanced features and technologies offered on today's vehicles, the single most important piece of safety technology in a car or truck remains the safety belt. That's why we're working hard to further improve safety belt and restraint technologies in the future.

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    Senior Member Kwozzie1's Avatar
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    Re: Inflatable/four point safety belts in the works?

    More nanny state stuff!! ;D
    Rex
    On the Sunshine Coast, in the Sunshine State Queensland (QLD), Australia

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Inflatable/four point safety belts in the works?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kwozzie1
    More nanny state stuff!! ;D
    I agree.

    The more I drive new cars, the more I like old ones!

    Hey you damn kids... get off my lawn!

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    Re: Inflatable/four point safety belts in the works?

    Why not keep the old three-point design, but use a wider belt to distribute the deceleration forces across the body?

    I'm also wondering about the impact of an inflatable belt on women.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

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    Senior Member Kwozzie1's Avatar
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    Re: Inflatable/four point safety belts in the works?

    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    Why not keep the old three-point design, but use a wider belt to distribute the deceleration forces across the body?

    I'm also wondering about the impact of an inflatable belt on women.

    Chip H.
    Pehaps an inflatable bra
    Rex
    On the Sunshine Coast, in the Sunshine State Queensland (QLD), Australia

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Inflatable/four point safety belts in the works?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kwozzie1
    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    Why not keep the old three-point design, but use a wider belt to distribute the deceleration forces across the body?

    I'm also wondering about the impact of an inflatable belt on women.

    Chip H.
    Pehaps an inflatable bra
    The more this goes on, the more I am tempted to buy the biggest, most obnoxious old boat I can find. A huge chromed beast with massive jutting fenders and lots of chrome but no air bags, no emissions control and a V-8 that sucks so much gas it makes a Hummer look responsible!


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    Re: Inflatable/four point safety belts in the works?

    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    Why not keep the old three-point design, but use a wider belt to distribute the deceleration forces across the body?
    The problem with that I think, would be that the belt would become very bulky - buckles, reels, etc., would also be much bigger & more difficult to fit into the available space. However, I do think that some means of spreading the load would be a good idea...& I've got the fractured (well, now healed!) sternum to back up that opinion!

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    Re: Inflatable/four point safety belts in the works?

    With my bad shoulders, I already have problems with the 3-point versions. In fact, I use a seat belt "stopper" so it doesn't rub against my shoulder (it's still tight). Sounds almost like the inertia reels in aircraft cockpits. Can't say much for their reliability. And I've got 20 years of experience to back that up.

    duck

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Inflatable/four point safety belts in the works?

    Quote Originally Posted by ducky1776
    With my bad shoulders, I already have problems with the 3-point versions. In fact, I use a seat belt "stopper" so it doesn't rub against my shoulder (it's still tight). Sounds almost like the inertia reels in aircraft cockpits. Can't say much for their reliability. And I've got 20 years of experience to back that up.

    duck
    I realize it's the height of political incorrectness, but I almost never wear a seat belt. I know that means I'm more apt to be injured (or injured more severely; maybe even killed) if I have an accident - but I don't buckle-up regardless - because I just don't like seat 'em - in the same way that most people don't like to exercise/eat properly!

    The way I look at it, my risk is theoretical. After all, I may never be involved in a serious accident where a seat belt would make a big difference. In fact, the odds of that are pretty good in my favor - at least in my judgment. (I've not had an accident since '87; most of the factors that lead to an "accident" are under one's own control - and thus risk can be reduced significantly by exercising good judgment and being a competent driver, etc.). In any event, I'm willing to take the risk.

    Before anyone nags me about it, keep in mind that most people do precisely the same thing - weigh risks and take action (or not) - in other areas of their lives, such as whether to exercise, whether to drink, whether to eat a healthy diet, maintain ideal body weight, etc. that, arguably (and, indeed, factually) involve definite, real risks that are much more likely to incur negative consequences than my not buckling up!

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    Re: Inflatable/four point safety belts in the works?

    Well, if we don't count the little backing incident in 02, the only accident I've had was in 1980 during my honeymoon. Got distracted going through some hills in West Virginia. Looking at the coal mines and not the car stopped in front of me. I still wear my seatbelt though. My sister and I were in an accident in high school. Guy ran a stop sign into my side of the car and turned us 180. If i hadn't had mine on, I'd have been knocked into her and she could have lost control (good old 1970 camaro with power NOTHING). I use one of those belt clips so that it doesn't go all the way up and choke me to help keep the pressure off my shoulders though. I've driven pretty much all over the country and I still say we have the worst drivers here in Montgomery.

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Inflatable/four point safety belts in the works?

    Quote Originally Posted by ducky1776
    Well, if we don't count the little backing incident in 02, the only accident I've had was in 1980 during my honeymoon. Got distracted going through some hills in West Virginia. Looking at the coal mines and not the car stopped in front of me. I still wear my seatbelt though. My sister and I were in an accident in high school. Guy ran a stop sign into my side of the car and turned us 180. If i hadn't had mine on, I'd have been knocked into her and she could have lost control (good old 1970 camaro with power NOTHING). I use one of those belt clips so that it doesn't go all the way up and choke me to help keep the pressure off my shoulders though. I've driven pretty much all over the country and I still say we have the worst drivers here in Montgomery.
    No question wearing a seat belt is an advantage if you happen to be in an accident; I just oppose laws requiring people to "buckle up" for safety - on the same basis that I oppose mandatory jumping jacks and Wheaties in the morning. Personal risk is a matter of personal choice - or ought to be, at any rate!

    PS - a '70 Camaro? Great car!

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    Re: Inflatable/four point safety belts in the works?

    That Camaro was great. We got it in I think 73 used for my sister to take us back and forth to school. When I was in college, she bought her own car and I inherited the Camaro. Then after I got in the military, I sold it to my husband-to-be (now ex) and bought my own first car. It was fire engine red with a black hard top. No AC, no power steering or windows. We joked that the AC was 2 by 60. Two windows at 60 mph. The most we ever packed in it was 4 people, 2 flag poles, 2 clarinets and a week's worth of camping stuff from band camp one summer. We got our mileage out of it. I even changed the battery cables in it once when the battery wouldn't work.
    I'm not one for mandatory jumping jacks and Wheaties, even if I did spend 20 years in the military! (I managed to escape that stuff most of the time I was in).

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Inflatable/four point safety belts in the works?

    Quote Originally Posted by ducky1776
    That Camaro was great. We got it in I think 73 used for my sister to take us back and forth to school. When I was in college, she bought her own car and I inherited the Camaro. Then after I got in the military, I sold it to my husband-to-be (now ex) and bought my own first car. It was fire engine red with a black hard top. No AC, no power steering or windows. We joked that the AC was 2 by 60. Two windows at 60 mph. The most we ever packed in it was 4 people, 2 flag poles, 2 clarinets and a week's worth of camping stuff from band camp one summer. We got our mileage out of it. I even changed the battery cables in it once when the battery wouldn't work.
    I'm not one for mandatory jumping jacks and Wheaties, even if I did spend 20 years in the military! (I managed to escape that stuff most of the time I was in).
    Was it a base Camaro? Or... did you have an SS?

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    Re: Inflatable/four point safety belts in the works?

    I think it was just a base Camaro. I think if it was an SS, it'd have some amenities <g>.

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Inflatable/four point safety belts in the works?

    Quote Originally Posted by ducky1776
    I think it was just a base Camaro. I think if it was an SS, it'd have some amenities <g>.
    Not necessarily!

    For example, I have a friend who owns a 1970 Firebird Formula. It has absolutely no amenities. No gauges (other than speedo and fuel plus a few idiot lights), no AC, no radio, roll-up windows, three-speed manual transmission, steel 14-inch wheels with dog dish hubcaps.... but the one thing it does have is a Ram Air III 400 V-8!

    Do you recall whether the Camaro had a V-8 engine?

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    Re: Inflatable/four point safety belts in the works?

    I didn't pay attention to engine sizes at that point in my life <g>. I'll have to see if I have a picture of that somewhere. I bet I do - covered in snow in Indiana probably. Unfortunately, my scanner is temporarily with my niece.

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Inflatable/four point safety belts in the works?

    Quote Originally Posted by ducky1776
    I didn't pay attention to engine sizes at that point in my life <g>. I'll have to see if I have a picture of that somewhere. I bet I do - covered in snow in Indiana probably. Unfortunately, my scanner is temporarily with my niece.
    But surely you remember whether it had a V-8 or an inline six....?

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