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1) I do not believe the case has been proven that belts as currently designed and installed in vehicles, as they are currently designed and constructed, has been proven to prevent death and reduce injuries in the majority of accidents in the Shetland situation.

What is special about the "Shetland situation"? We drive the same cars as the rest of the country, have the same anatomy as the rest of the human race, and are subject to the same laws of physics as the rest of the universe. What makes us so different?

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^^ We have no motorways, or dual carriageways, and only a very minimal amount of congested urban driving.

 

What has decreased the death rate and lessened injuries on motorways and in congested urban situations, does not necessarily have the same effect on accidents on largely narrow single track lightly used speed restricted by design roads, which is a significant proportion of Shetland's roads.

 

Statistics by definition will only produce a result particularly relevant to what any particular set of statistics are composed from. UK wide highway composed statistics, where by definition a large proportion of the input is derived from motorway, dual carriageway and congested urban driving, can therefor only be of limited relevance to the Shetland driving situation, where none, or next to none of those driving situations exist.

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^ On the basis of no dual carriage ways/motorways up here I'd say the risk at high speed is much greater here.

 

I'm pretty certain there's lots of driving goes on well above the 60mph limit on A roads as well as more minor road and there is no central division/barriers. Add that to steep drop offs, strong winds and I'd say the risks are high.

 

Atleast dual carriage ways/trunk roads/motorways are designed for fast driving.

 

I've only had one accident at about 50mph where I came off the road due to farm 'spillage' in the dark. Luckily I had my seat belt on and when I realised I was beyond controlling it I held my head and kissed my a*** good bye, or I'd have flown around the car like the rest of my stuff that was in there. Only suffered seat belt related bruising (no airbag), the car was a write off with a crease right across the roof. Dread to think what state I'd have been in without it.

 

Seat belts save lives, clunk click every trip 8)

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^^ Not necessarily disagreeing. The point I'm trying to make though is that on motorways and in dense urban traffic the "average" accident is most likely to be hitting another vehicle, and sundry vehicles bouncing around the tar like balls on a pool table when at the break, there is no "safe" place to be, you just have to ride it out best you can wherever you are until everything comes to rest. Yup, sure as hell I wanna be strapped in to whatever is left of my tin box in those circumstances, if there is a lesser evil, then that option is it.

 

In Shetland, for many of the reasons you've mentioned, the "average" accident is far more likely to be flying off the road completely and either colliding with whatever is there, go careening for a hundred yards or more over god knows what kinda terrain, or roll head over heels down a slope.

 

While some may be of the opinion that remaining strapped in to their tin box is the lesser evil in those circumstances too, that is their perogative. However, my own personal opinion is that I want the hell outta Dodge that is that flying tin box at the first possible opportunity

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In Shetland, for many of the reasons you've mentioned, the "average" accident is far more likely to be flying off the road completely and either colliding with whatever is there, go careening for a hundred yards or more over god knows what kinda terrain, or roll head over heels down a slope.

 

While some may be of the opinion that remaining strapped in to their tin box is the lesser evil in those circumstances too, that is their perogative. However, my own personal opinion is that I want the hell outta Dodge that is that flying tin box at the first possible opportunity

 

Unless you are James Bond and your car is fitted with an ejector seat, getting out of the car is going to be problematic. Not being wearing your seatbelt under the circumstances you describe is much more likely to result in you flying around inside your metal box impacting the dashboard, doors and other occupants, and finding out how hard you need to hit a collapsible steering column to make it collapse.

 

But don't take my word for it: safety engineers have been crashing cars containing cadavers, crash-test dummies, and live pigs (their internal structure resembles our own, apparently) for decades. They've pretty much all come to the same conclusion: you've got a much better chance of surviving a crash (yes, even roll-overs) if you're wearing your seatbelt.

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....and whose payroll are those engineers on???

 

There is a very simple solution that would completely kill any difference of opinion on the subject. Fit all cars with rally cages and four point harness, those have been proven time and time again in use, why won't they?!?

 

Why persist with belt and bodyshell design that are distrusted by many, when a proven alternative solution exists. I can only conclude its a cost driven decision, and as such it is not the best available solution, but a lesser one that leaves a healthier looking bottom line for the industry.

 

I object to being sold questionable mediocre solutions, and to add insult being forced to use them by the government, just so as the industry can make larger profits.

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....and whose payroll are those engineers on???

 

Sigh. Which is more likely:

 

a) the vast majority of automotive safety engineers in the entire world have been involved in a conspiracy over the last fifty years or so, or

 

B) your opinion on the effectiveness of seat-belts isn't entirely correct?

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^ Why would any responsible parent refuse to insist on their children wearing seatbelts when they have been provided?

 

Your children are your responsibilty, but anyone else on the bus is nothing to do with you, so you would not have to insist that they wear a seatbelt. That would be the responsibility of the bus driver.

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So, you are saying that you would secure yourself against an impact or accident but think it is the bus drivers responsibility to ensure that during an accident, the unrestrained person behind you does not kill you by smashing the back of your head in with theirs, or even the back of your childs head.

Personally I would say something, as you are responsible for the safety of your children.

 

You would say something if they were smoking or damaging the bus.

 

If it were mandatory to wear seat belts on buses you would then need to carry other items, to complete your responsibilities.

 

http://www.childcarseats.org.uk/law/fromseptember06.htm

 

And it could be argued that if it were the law to wear seat belts, by not intervening you are then complicit in their crime.

 

An individual is complicit in a crime if he/she is aware of its occurrence and has the ability to report the crime, but fails to do so. As such, the individual effectively allows criminals to carry out a crime despite possibly being able to stop them, either directly or by contacting the authorities, thus making the individual a de-facto accessory to the crime rather than an innocent bystander.

 

From Wiki,

 

So, should folk be forced to wear safety devices, if the debate that has happened here shows some folk may think the forcing the use of seat belts be wrong and should be arbitrary.

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ghost the wife did some of her training at a neuro rehab unit. it specialized in the lock in syndrome(being conscious but unable to move or communicate) a lot of the patients were the product of car crashes.

 

also the odds of being thrown cleanly out of a car and suffering less injuries is remote. yes you can get hurt by the belt broken sternum and collarbones and very rarely heart damage caused by the broken bones. however imagine the forces that would be inflicted on you if you weren't wearing it. two cars hitting each other is not going to be 60 if both are doing the limit it would be 120mph.

 

if you think your right that more are hurt by belts than not why do you think formula 1 drives can walk away from very damaging crashes.

ghost you really don't want to be leaving a car in mid crash humans only bend so much until bits drop off.

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I have attended road traffic accidents and collisions too many times to count. I have witnessed, firsthand, the level of injury which can be caused through not wearing a seatbelt. When I was involved in stopping vehicles, to deal with those within not wearing seatbelts, I would advise them of the following. At 25mph, the force involved in being thrown headfirst from your seat while unrestrained and impacting with the windscreen (and whatever may come next, be it road, wall, tree, etc.) is the same as putting your hands in your pocket and diving headfirst from a second story window. The idea that not wearing your seatbelt makes it safer in head-on collisions, because you will be thrown headfirst through the windscreen and therefore escape with only cuts, scrapes, or the odd broken bone is, quite frankly, ridiculous.

 

It has been mentioned that if the driver is unrestrained and dies in a car accident, there is only one victim. False. Categorically so, unless you have no family or loved ones. Once again, from too many experiences to count,

and too unpleasant to recollect, the families and loved ones are the victims in every such instance. They live the rest of their lives grieving for the selfish fool who believed such poppycock, or was too lazy to "belt up". There are other causes of road traffic accidents and fatalities, I know, however I am addressing specifically the issue of seatbelts in such instances.) This is another question I would put to such persons, during roadside stops, assuring them, as I most solemnly assure you, there is no wage high enough to cover having to knock on some unsuspecting person's door and tell them (often a complete stranger) that their son or daughter, mother or father, husband or

wife, that their loved one is dead. Yet, all too often, this is a task which must be undertaken by Police, with compassion and tact. I have witnessed the grief, the anger, the denial, the incomprehension, as part of that loved one dies too, with this terrible news.

 

How often do you see the bouquets of flowers, forlorn and terrible in their message of grief and remembrance, tied to the roadside to commemorate another loved one lost?

 

There can be no excuse for such recklessness.

 

A family member is involved in the maintenance of brain-dead persons, whose families have consented to organ harvesting for transplant and donation. This is an extremely unpleasant, although necessary, task for the medical profession. He and his colleagues refer to persons who refuse to "belt up" or obey traffic laws, and to motorcyclists who take chances and do likewise, as "donors". This is through their lengthy experience, dealing with the aftermath of incidents involving such individuals, who never think of the consequences of their actions, however small these may seem.

 

Spend a day in a busy Accident & Emergency department, in any big city, and there is every chance you will come across such individuals, or their remains.

 

Personally and professionally, I would urge each and every person who gets into any mechanically propelled vehicle, if a seatbelt is provided, it is for a reason. Namely to assist in saving your life. It us jot a guarantee of such, however it increases the likelihood exponentially over those willing to take their chances on the "headfirst ejection" alternative.

 

By the way, in my experience, the physics and physiognomy invloved means that the unrestrained person MAY be thrown headfirst through the windscreen (which is fairly tough and at speed may be sufficient to cause serious trauma to the skull, not to mention the cervical vertebrae taking such an impact!), however the lower half of the body tends to remain in the vehicle, resulting in multiple fractures from the ribcage down, as the torso tends to impact on the dashboard, while the legs tend to be caught against the seat.

 

It's not like the movies, I am afraid. Please, I beg you, do not let your families receive that knock from my colleagues, and do your utmost with your children (from an early age) or loved ones, to ensure it is not your door we

attend at with such tragic news.

 

As always,

 

Your humble servant.

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^^^^

But it has been demonstrated that 99% of people who are thrown through the windscreen don't even receive a scratch, and that anyone who says otherwise is part of an international conspiracy to double the profits of car manufacturers, by forcing us to wear seat-belts. Or something. :)

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