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I was suggesting if regular passenger car passengers and drivers were using 5-point belts and helmets. I didn't specify the 5-point harness, but I meant it. And, yes, I know it's never going to happen. My point was that drivers in race cars already have protection which works well enough that airbags would not be terribly useful.
Bill Ranck Blacksburg, Va.
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wrote:

I think the OP meant that if everyone was belted in with a 5 point harness and a helmet there would be no need for an airbag. Not very fashionable so I don't expect the wimmin to be jumping on board with that idea. The devices they pass off as seatbelts/shoulder harnesses in private vehicles fall really short of what they should provide in terms of safety. Somewhere between a 5 point harness and the typical passenger car restraint system lies a much better idea. But then again, we'd have to deal with all those other issues like seats that offer no rigidity, doors that cave in to the center of the car, etc., etc., etc.

Yup - for the passenger car, that's very true.
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snipped-for-privacy@vt.edu wrote:

lf airbags work so all fired well then why, with all new cars equipped with airbags, are so many states all of a sudden passing seat belt laws?

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--John
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John wrote:>lf airbags work so all fired well then why, with all new cars equipped with

Because, without the seat belt, you probably wouldn't be in the right place for the airbag to help you. Tom Work at your leisure!
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Tom wrote:

But with the seat belt how much difference does the airbag really make?
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Quite a bit. You can still hit the dashboard and/or the steering wheel with seatbelts on. It's not always you moving towards them, sometimes they move towards _you_. An airbag is softer than either of these objects.
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Why would anyone put a passive restraint system in place where the much more effective active type is mandatory?
Not to mention that the deployment time on the bag would either be too slow to fully restrain at NASCAR speeds, or so fast that it would damage what it was supposed to protect.

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Well, with a viewpoint like that, then why not mandate five point harnesses in all cars and to hell with air bags anywhere?
For the greatest part, most of you have a pretty closed minds. Just because something hasn't been done before, you think it's inappropriate. I haven't seen a true racing engineer step forward to correct my thinking or comment on any part of this conversation so as far as I'm concerned, most of you are armchair quarterbacks with inexperienced opinions.
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Upscale responds:

Sub-100 MPH speeds?
Charlie Self "It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man." H. L. Mencken
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And you sir are a what? It would be poor form in an argument to call the ones you are arguing with names, while at the same time those same names could be applied to you.
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Upscale wrote:

Race drivers _use_ their restraints--they get disqualified if they don't.

I don't have to sit on an exploding H-bomb to know that it's not a good idea. Some things "haven't been done before" because they don't work.

As are you. The difference is that you give every evidence of being totally clueless with regard to racing.
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Gosh, I don't know, genius...because 90% of people wouldn't use them? What is the rate of use in stock car racing? I'm guessing it's right around 100%. If passenger cars were equipped with 5-point restraints and people used them 100% in conjunction with a HANS device, you could throw air bags away.

I see. What race team do you work for? Is your opinion more experienced than mine?
todd
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wrote:

air bags are cheaper.
really.

yep. that's us, a bunch of non-critical-thinking kneejerk reactionaries......

this is a woodworking group. try asking in a racing group or an engineering group. how about you go do both. when you have a consensus that airbags in race cars are a good idea, come back and let's talk.
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Zero tolerance law? Blind obedience?
Oh yes, the five-point works only in conjunction with the roll cage and a seat that can't compress the driver against the airbag (wheel) on deceleration. I'd say think about it, but I'm sure you won't, or can't.

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Feel better now? Don't hold back George, it's early in the morning. Let it ALL out.
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It doesn't take an engineer realize the complexity of the situation.
What we expect a bag to do: 1) Deploy at such a rate as to cover a certain distance in less time than it takes the driver to meet it. 2) Upon reaching the point of maximum deployment, so as not to become the equivalent of a fixed object,begin deflating at a rate sufficient to cushion the driver or occupant.
It's Newtonian physics all the way, so your HS stuff should work, but in case you require a review http://physics.ucsd.edu/~cdpgrad/speed.html will cover the basics. The last equation you'll need is E=mv(squared).
I'm not going to run down the numbers, but the basic bag is designed to protect a certain mass traveling at a certain velocity over a fixed distance less than the distance to the wheel, but greater than that required to absorb the deceleration as it deflates. You can get a review of the difficulties at http://www.roadandtravel.com/womensworkshop/ww_airbag.htm in case you have missed the ongoing controversy over the bag becoming the fixed object. The bag is good with minor injuries over a certain range either side of the design point.
A quick non-engineer assessment says that 150 versus 50 mph makes the problem about nine times as complex. And they're still trying to solve the 50.
Buckle up, so I don't have to lift your carcass out of a PIA in my county. When so many bones are broken, handling a body is like trying to control jell-o.
NOW I feel better.

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George wrote:

3) remain deployed long enough to absorb secondary impacts. This, I suspect, is the one that would be a killer on the race course. I'm envisioning one of those crashes where the car goes end over end several times shedding parts the whole way. The airbag might help on the _first_ bounce but how about the second, third, fourth, etc? And those are the ones where the driver needs all the help he can get.
And I remember looking at a wrecked Porsche in the garage at Brumos one time. It was _flat_ from the firewall (or whatever you call the partition between the trunk and the passenger compartment in a Porsche--with a front engine it would have been the firewall) forward. The salesman's comment was "That was a bad one. Peter (Gregg, who was the owner of the dealership and a well known racing driver then) sprained his thumb in that one." That was back in '69--my Dad and I were there looking at a used XK-E that I was hoping would be my first car and the salesman was trying to steer him to a new Porsche having despaired of selling him the 250GTO that they had on the lot--fortunately my Dad was smarter than I was and so I ended up with mongo Detroit sedan aka roadgoing battleship so I'm still alive. There have been vast improvements in the safety features of racing cars since.

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"A little rubbing"?????????
With this sentence, two things become crystal clear: 1) You have never watched a NASCAR race. Ever. Not in person, not on TV. 2) You are not paying any attention to the people who *have*.
Here's your sign.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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The closest I've been to racing is watching the Molson Indianapolis in Toronto the past few years. A number of years ago, I regularly attended the races up in Mosport and looked at it as a weekend of being with friends while camping out in the infield.
If those two things don't qualify for watching racing, label me however you want, but it still doesn't change you quarterback wizards from being exactly that and nothing more.
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Uh, Doug? How many G's, in what direction, are needed to set off an airbag in a passenger car? How often does that happen in racing? You'll only see that if you hit something stationary, or going a drastically different direction.

You might want to hang onto it for a bit. Airbags are only going to go off with enough force _and_ with that force in the right direction. The damage to vehicles I've seen in racing, just from normal non-crash driving, isn't anything like what I've seen as an EMT on scenes where there have been airbags which deployed. Takes a lot of impact to set those off. Obviously it'd be tweaked accordingly.
That having been said, the HANS device hasn't caught on real well, or there'd still be a #3 car driving around. If a .5 ounce safety device isn't being used, a 1 pound airbag hasn't got a chance.
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