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I was wondering if folk still think of seat belts as a hindrance. Our town buses are now being upgraded to have seat belts installed and I think it may be mandatory to wear them, not sure, but I guess it would be harder to win a claim from an accident if you were not wearing one.

Two folk at work were fined for not wearing their seat belts, I think they may have stretched the stop/start rules where it is not always mandatory to wear one.

What I still see is folk with kids on their laps with seat belts around them both, I shudder to think how many kids have been killed or maimed after being crushed between the seat belt and their loved one. I also see many kids not restrained in the rear of vehicles as well.

 

If you are involved in a road accident whilst not wearing a seatbelt you are still entitled to claim compensation, but the amount of compensation you can claim will be reduced by a percentage - typically in the region of 25%.

http://www.accident-claim-expert.co.uk/car-accident/seat-belt-injury.html

 

As all passengers can claim in the event of their driver being at fault, it would be interested to see what compensation would be paid and at on level if the driver failed to restrain his passengers before setting off. I could only assume that the remaining % may be sought after via private prosecution of the driver by what could be his own children, imagine that. It could also be seen that the driver would benefit if the occupants needed a carer, as they could become the paid carer.

 

Some lorry drivers do not wear a seat belt. This I see many many times, in all commercial vehicles.

 

Even though commercial vehicles are heavily restricted with their speed limits (HGV no faster than 40mph on single carriageways and any commercial vehicle limited to 60 on dual carriageways, both with the National Speed Limit) not wearing a seat belt can cause some problems, watch the video at the end to see.

 

This then gets me back to buses. They can weigh as much, if not more than some HGVs yet their restrictions on speed and even access are less. 70 mph on motorways and can travel down weight restricted roads as they are not a goods carrying vehicle.

 

The good things are the driver training and tests, which are not easy, especially for a seasoned driver to take and the seat belts now being fitted.

 

There are a number of injuries you can get due to wearing a seat belt in a high speed crash, but I would risk that than being killed outright or cabbaged.

 

In this video, I wonder what would have happened to the driver of the slower truck if he were at the edge of a steep drop or another vehicle passing. If you notice as well, he was sitting in a RHD vehicle

 

As ever with YouTube, there are some comments that use some four letter descriptives that could offend, please take care when viewing.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54LU1WnBD4Y&NR=1

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I was wondering if folk still think of seat belts as a hindrance.

No. Never have, and completely fail to understand why some people do find them restrictive. I reckon the answer is most likely psychological rather than physical.

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Seatbelts are just another piece of quite cleverly designed and delivered government propaganda. All the making of them mandatory did was to change the type of injuries and causes of death resulting from collisions.

 

Their "justification" relies on massaged statistics, and they are of an extremely poor design. Much, much more would be achieved if vehicle bodyshell design and construction was targetted, but of course that would men an increase in the cost of vehicles, and the industry would "persuade" any Govt. that was a "bad idea". :roll:

 

If you believe wearing a seat belt makes you any "safer" overall than you would be not wearing one, you've been sold the scam.

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That's a scary video!.

 

I have mixed feelings about them. Part of me thinks "ok, it might stop you being thrown out of the vehicle" but the other part thinks that in the event of a collision your body is suffering a severe force of compression against the seatbelt resulting in internal injuries and whiplash(broken neck?). I'd say seatbelts are actually very poorly designed and are almost a killer in themselves. On balance though, it's better than being thrown headfirst out through the window.

 

What would actually be needed is a quick harness system like in a rally car with a softer padded section to ease the effect of the belt and so the belt doesn't cut you like a knife.

 

I'm no expert though!.

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If you believe wearing a seat belt makes you any "safer" overall than you would be not wearing one, you've been sold the scam.

 

Where do you get all this authoritative knowledge, Ghosty?

 

Its a considered opinion, nothing more. Based on a relatively basic analysis of the data used to "justify" mandatory seatbelt wearing. Like all "one size fits all" statute pertaining to multiple circumstances/situations. While it may be "reasonable" for those events at or relatively close to the "average" circumstance/situation, it becomes increasingly ineffectual/harmful the further any one given circumstance/situation is from that "average". The vast majority of motoring accidents in Shetland IMHO unfortunately are at one extreme from that average, the extreme where if not harmful to be wearing a seatbelt, at least making wearing one pointless as in doing so you are just trading one evil for another.

 

The opinion of bodyshell and seatbeat design being dangerously inappropriate and inadequate, is one shared and voiced by many professional mechanics, who spend their day trying to put vehicles back together after accidents and who have extensive knowledge how different types of impacts affect both vehicle and occupant(s).

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Based purely on personal experience, I am not a fan of seatbelts. I have seen as many serious injuries from people trapped by them than those who have been thrown from a vehicle.

 

Back in the days before airbags, they would clearly have played a bigger part, and I could never understand them being made mandatory for front seats before rear seats, as unquestionably they are more benefit to all when worn by rear seated passengers.

 

Sure, statistics can be twisted to show anything is "better", and GR is right, the injury type changed far more than any actual reduction.

 

I would never view them as a hindrance, but as a potential danger, definitely.

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^^ What is that based on. Don't forget that the (IMHO indecently hurried and wholly inappropriate) introduction of mandatory seatbelt wearing was speedily followed by the introduction of airbags and the development of so called "crumple zones".

 

How can the reduction of deaths be attributed to only seatbelts when it was closely followed by the other two safety measures and rear wheel drive vehicles were more or less phased out. Arguably IMHO the so called "crumple zones" and the change to almost all vehicles having only front wheel drive had as much to do with reducing fatalities as seatbelts may have.

 

Pre "crumple zone" and almost all rear wheel drive days, any impact of note and there was an excellent chance the engine would end up in one front seat of the other. There was nothing in the design of a vehicle to "direct" it in any particular direction during impact, so it naturally followed the gearbox to which it was attached backward through the open transmission tunnel for a bit before bursting through the bulkhead and ending up in the front seats.

 

Cross mounted engines and bodyshells without a transmission tunnel removed that open "lead in" route for dislodged engines to exit by, and engines on the move during impact became a bit more of a loose cannon, relying on whatever they burst through first, governed by the angle of impact, to dictate where they ended up. Therefor it became a simple drawing board execise to develop a front chassis and bulkhead design that threw them upwards and forward to create the "crumple zone".

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Thankfully, many accidents are not at high speed and the introduction of airbags have helped, I am not so sure you would always hit the windscreen on impact, especially with a steering wheel in the way.

With our IPV or crash cushion, we have to wear a 4 point belt, similar to that rally drivers wear, as with rally drivers, there are high speeds and sudden stops. With an IPV it could be sat in the 3rd lane of a motorway.

Try now and think of your car with a 4 point belt. Where would the 4th anchor point come from.

I think that yes, we are manipulated by manufacturing costs and prices of the finished product in motor vehicle safety.

I remember a car hitting my Mk1 Ford Capri GT XL and my Capri needing a new bumper, yet the new Escort was a write off because of a crumpled crumple zone.

I think part of the responsibility is with drivers and how they drive. I also think that the speeds and acceleration of modern cars is far in xs of the safety features offered.

Do we pander to the minority of idiots, inexperienced drivers or those who may not have as much speed awareness as others.

Perhaps if folk think they should be able to drive faster, they should invest in the correct safety equipment.

If they were wearing seat belts, then they would not be thrown from a car, it could not be a good comparison unless you actually witnessed the same amount of accidents where folk were thrown from a vehicle, or just thrown around within a vehicle to that where they sustained injury at high speed.

Many devices prevent instant death, a life line in case the worst happens. An example would be our safety harness in our M.E.W.P.s. If the bucket was struck by a moving vehicle as in the following video, the operator may have survived the impact but not the fall, if he was wearing a harness, then he could have survived the impact and left hanging on his harness, his co-workers would have to get him down within 15 minutes before the safety harness cuts off blood supplies to parts of his body. This can lead to some very difficult medical conditions to treat, blood clots etc.

 

 

If you take F1, the safety devices can nearly guarantee you can walk away from what appears to be a monumental accident, they do spend a little more on their safety, and their driver, hence the need for him to survive you could say.

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^^ On road vehicles, seatbelts, airbags, crumple zones, ABS, traction control etc, etc, the full nine yards, is "idiot proofing". Unfortunately its not eliminating the idiots, it just moving the goalposts. Back in the day before any of those came along, the idiots either had to learn how not to be an idiot when driving, or be dead, unfortunately they had a bad habit of making other innocent folk dead during the process.

 

"Idiot proofing" simply makes more folk become idiots, as the vehicle does so much for them they forget to think, or realise the nature of the beast they're in charge of. It also means the real idiots never have to learn until they finally do something so stupid that even the best "idiot proofing" can't help them, causing unholy carnage, and its too late for them to learn from it.

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I see what you are saying, perhaps the idiot proofing lets the idiots remain for longer, therefore increasing their numbers.

 

Perhaps install front drum brakes similar to the ones I had on my escort van as standard for new drivers or proven idiots, certainly got me to appreciate speed, as did the GSX1000

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I have in the past been responsible for trying to put people back together after car accidents. Trust me - accidents where seatbelts were worn lead to far less severe injuries to those where seatbelts weren't worn.

 

Nobody gets in my car without putting a seatbelt on.

 

I refuse to turn on engine till everyone is 'tied up' as I call it.

 

I think I would rather have crushed ribs for a while than be splattered over the road.

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