Driving automobiles

Re: MOMO puts airbags in racing steering wheels

In rec.autos.sport wil…@mailhost.aa.cad.slb.com (David Wilson) wrote:

>[...]
>I was highly skeptical of airbags when they were first introduced,
>especially when US lawmakers play idiotic games like allowing inferior
>belt systems (aka passive restraints) at the same time, to cater to the
>mindless masses.

What exactly are you talking about here? What is the difference
between a "good" and a "bad" belt system? How could one spot the
difference and what have lawmakers got to do with this?

(This discussion should be in rec.autos.driving and I have adjusted
the Followup-To line to that effect.)


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   Nicos Kontopoulos                             Voice: (617) 787-1780
   INTERnet: ni…@cs.bu.edu                           ’81 931
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posted by admin in Uncategorized and have Comments (5)

5 Responses to “Re: MOMO puts airbags in racing steering wheels”

  1. admin says:

    In article 109…@bu.edu, ni…@csa.bu.edu (Nicos Kontopoulos) writes:

    >In rec.autos.sport wil…@mailhost.aa.cad.slb.com (David Wilson) wrote:
    >>[...]
    >>I was highly skeptical of airbags when they were first introduced,
    >>especially when US lawmakers play idiotic games like allowing inferior
    >>belt systems (aka passive restraints) at the same time, to cater to the
    >>mindless masses.

    >What exactly are you talking about here? What is the difference
    >between a "good" and a "bad" belt system? How could one spot the
    >difference and what have lawmakers got to do with this?

    Bad belts are those stupid god-forsaken things that every car I rent
    from Hertz seems to have – an automatic belt that whirls round the
    door opening, generally hitting me on the head or wrenching out chunks
    of hair. Then the damn car "bongs" at you because you haven’t fastened
    the manual lap belt. So, the worst of both worlds – a useless,
    incovenient automatic belt combined with an ordinary useless lap
    belt.

    Personally, I think if people don’t want to wear their belts, let ‘em.
    Think of it as evolution in action.

    And lawmakers made the car companies install these pathetic belts.

    Regards,

    Hugh.
    ——————————————————————
    I don’t speak for Xerox. | "It’s no use being clever – we are all
    Rank Xerox Centre, UK.   | clever here; just try to be kind – a
    Huge.w…@rx.xerox.com   | little kind." (F.J. Foakes Jackson)

  2. admin says:

    ni…@csa.bu.edu (Nicos Kontopoulos) writes:
    > In rec.autos.sport wil…@mailhost.aa.cad.slb.com (David Wilson) wrote:
    > >[...]
    > >I was highly skeptical of airbags when they were first introduced,
    > >especially when US lawmakers play idiotic games like allowing inferior
    > >belt systems (aka passive restraints) at the same time, to cater to the
    > >mindless masses.

    > What exactly are you talking about here? What is the difference
    > between a "good" and a "bad" belt system? How could one spot the
    > difference and what have lawmakers got to do with this?

    If I may respond…
    I think he’s refering to the lawmakers mandating the presence of
    passive restraint systems in vehicles built in ’90 and later… thus
    cars now have at least passive seat belts, or an airbag.  These
    passive seat belts are generally viewed as "bad" as depending on their
    design (motorized, built into door, etc) they are often prone to
    releasing in an open door accident… is this likely?  I have no idea,
    but they still get a bad rap for it.  I have the motorized type in my
    Eclipse and hate them.  They look bad, have failed twice (manual belts
    have never failed me) and make it easy to forget the lap belt.
            So now we can look forward to standard air bags from ’95 and
    on…

                                    – Jason
    > —
    > ————————————————————————-
    >    Nicos Kontopoulos                             Voice: (617) 787-1780
    >    INTERnet: ni…@cs.bu.edu                           ’81 931
    > ————————————————————————-


    —————————————————————
    \ Jason A. Reiser  \ Send E-Mail to jrei…@scott.skidmore.edu \
     \ Skidmore College \ Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 \ 518-581-6580 \  
      \ It’s a new Ice Age!  Hooray!!  Sled City!  - Calvin & Hobbes \

  3. admin says:

    |> What exactly are you talking about here? What is the difference
    |> between a "good" and a "bad" belt system? How could one spot the
    |> difference and what have lawmakers got to do with this?
    |>
    |>
    |> (This discussion should be in rec.autos.driving and I have adjusted
    |> the Followup-To line to that effect.)
    |>
    |>
    |> —
    |> ————————————————————————-
    |>    Nicos Kontopoulos                             Voice: (617) 787-1780
    |>    INTERnet: ni…@cs.bu.edu                           ’81 931
    |> ————————————————————————-

    (for those elsewhere in the world the US has a "passive restraint" safety
    law requiring automakers to provide passive restraints (i.e. no driver
    or passenger action neccesary) in their cars.  most automakers comply
    by either equipping their cars with airbags or motorized seatbelts that
    automatically wrap around the occupant once the car is started)

            Most passive restraint seatbelts are of the "motorized shoulder
    belt" type.  When the engine is started the top mount of the shoulder
    belt moves from the front edge of the windowframe up the A pillar, across
    the top of the window, and downwards into the usual shoulder belt upper
    mount position.  This automatically applies the shoulder belt to the
    torso.
            Unfortunately almost all of these systems include active lap belts,
    i.e. you have to buckle the lap belt by hand.  Many peoply don’t realize
    that this manual step is still neccesary or forget to perform it, leaving
    them wearing a shoulder belt without a lap belt.

            In a frontal collision the hips of the occupant will then fly
    forwards and the torso will "submarine" underneath the shoulder belt.
    The occupant will recieve two shattered knees as they slam into the
    steering column/dash, and when the shoulder belt slides up to the chin
    it will snap the head backwards, breaking the neck.  Decapitations are
    also common.  I’ve heard that this is a problem in Ford Escorts.

            An excellent example of an attempt at idiot-proofing society
    resulting in merely giving people the belief that they can act like
    idiots and someone or something will take care of them.  IMHO there’s
    no substitute for personal responsibility.  Sorry about the graphic
    detail.

                    -Kap

    Kap Parfrey   (par…@rpi.edu)            The opinions expressed herein are neither
    Center for Composite Materials          my own nor my employer’s but rather those
     and Structures                         of a 3500-year-old Egyptian pharoah named
    Dept of Mechanical Engineering          Balestre-Ra. Please send US$100 for complete
    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute        details and astrological predictions.
    Troy Ny USA                             (p.s. don’t forget to include FAX number)

  4. admin says:

    In article <1993Feb8.184001.6…@scott.skidmore.edu> Jason Reiser…

    Asleep, jrei…@scott.skidmore.edu writes:
    >I have the motorized type in my
    >Eclipse and hate them.  They look bad, have failed twice (manual belts
    >have never failed me) and make it easy to forget the lap belt.

    I had an ’87 Camry with motorized belts; the main peeve I had was that
    there was no way to adjust the separate lap belt so that it was a snug
    fit.  The latching mechanism was too far forward, so that in a crash,
    your body would move forward several inches before the slack of the lap
    belt was taken up.  I remember seeing an article in "Consumer Reports"
    criticising this type of belt as unsafe.

    Steve Wyrick (SJWYR…@LBL.GOV)  |  (Insert witty quote here)

  5. admin says:

    In article <109…@bu.edu> ni…@cs.bu.edu (Nicos Kontopoulos) writes:
    >In rec.autos.sport wil…@mailhost.aa.cad.slb.com (David Wilson) wrote:
    >>[...]
    >>I was highly skeptical of airbags when they were first introduced,
    >>especially when US lawmakers play idiotic games like allowing inferior
    >>belt systems (aka passive restraints) at the same time, to cater to the
    >>mindless masses.

    >What exactly are you talking about here? What is the difference
    >between a "good" and a "bad" belt system? How could one spot the
    >difference and what have lawmakers got to do with this?
    >————————————————————————-

    well, go to a gm dealer and look at any car without an airbag. they have
    near-regular-looking 3-point belts, except that they can be left attached
    when the door is opened, or as most people do, they operate them as normal
    3-point belts. the big difference is that the belt point on the one side
    is attached into the door, several inches higher and forward of the hip…
    i imagine one getting thrown forward in such a situation…
    this is gm’s design for non-airbag cars. it’s less annoying than those
    motorized mouse-belts… but i’ll take a regular 3-point belt anyday.

    the gm belts are fun when a valet person opens the door for you… and there’s this
    seat belt mess going on.

    airbags are a nice marketing tool, and i guess they work well, too. but
    because the u.s. cars MUST have passive safety (auto belts or airbag),
    in order to get a normal seatbelt, you have to pay for an airbag.

    it’s sorry to see the lawmakers allow stupid belts just to get airbags
    installed.  i just wished they had made the airbags so that they never
    go off unless the seatbelt is fastened.

    so there!


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