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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
I see. What race team do you work for? Is your opinion more experienced
yep. that's us, a bunch of non-critical-thinking kneejerk
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.
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.
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
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
NOW I feel better.
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.
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
"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.
Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
Get a copy of my NEW AND IMPROVED TrollFilter for NewsProxy/Nfilter
by sending email to autoresponder at filterinfo-at-milmac-dot-com
You must use your REAL email address to get a response.
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.
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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