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Author Topic: Seat Belt Question  (Read 5145 times)
Jriddle
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« on: December 15, 2008, 06:50:07 PM »

How many seat belt do most install in coach? I am having trouble deciding how many to install. Coach is for the wife and I, but know other will sometimes travel. I know that needs will vary, but would like to know what others have done. My copilot seat will only have lap belt I can't figure out how to make shoulder harness work. The seat is back from anything that you could hit your head on. Just looking for what others have done.

John
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« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2008, 06:52:14 PM »

That's another thing on my list too.  I expect to put lap belts in the two front seats.
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« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2008, 08:06:38 PM »

Uh.. I thought the rule was a seatbelt for each passenger seated while in motion.?

You need to check the RV safety rules about exact specs on what is and what isn't applicable. Or look at Factory RV's to see how they do it...

Sorry.. I drew a partial blank there....

Dave
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« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2008, 04:41:43 AM »

I would definately put seat belts on driver's and co-pilot's seats before using the bus.  All that is between you (and more so the co-pilot) and the outside is a big piece of glass.  I lost a busnut friend and a friend of his several years ago.  They blew a right front tire causing the bus to veer off the road. The bus hit a soft berm and slowed dramatically (enough to throw them through the windshields). Although the bus had slowed dramatically, it not come to a full stop and proceeded to run over them before rolling down an embankment.  Jack
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« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2008, 06:00:45 AM »

How many seat belt do most install in coach? I am having trouble deciding how many to install. Coach is for the wife and I, but know other will sometimes travel. I know that needs will vary, but would like to know what others have done. My copilot seat will only have lap belt I can't figure out how to make shoulder harness work. The seat is back from anything that you could hit your head on. Just looking for what others have done.

John

Just wanted to mention that it is quite common for the shoulder harness to be attached to the seat itself - I've even seen this on folding seats. Obviously you would ideally choose a seat with this facility built-in, but it might be worth seeing how much steel there is in your existing seats and working out whether you could retro-fit a full inertia belt, which are much safer than just having lap belts. A seat with a proper, adjustable headrest should also be considered essential. Aside from actually going through the windscreen or impaling yourself on the steering column, the biggest dangers in an accident are neck and back injuries caused by the head and body moving about.

Jeremy
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cody
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« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2008, 06:54:39 AM »

The laws in many states differ on whether they are mandatory or not but I believe they are a good idea, in michigan they arn't required in a motorhome for any seating that is behind the drivers configuration, however, that being said you need to look at the seating positions to determine what is needed, a forward facing seat could have the seat belts attached thru the floor and anchored to a frame member, a side mounted seat such as a couch is a different problem with forward motion of the bus stopped the internal motion wants to continue with a twisting motion as well as forward motion, this creates a shear effect, a shoulder/lap belt arrangement is recommended by some for that.  Regardless of the arrangement, secure mounting is important, human missles are not only inconvient but at times very messy, other items of concern are unattached furnature (also known as mother-in-law launchers), coffee potsd, etc.  Doesn't take long to secure items but in the event of a panic stop it pays dividends in a hurry.  I'm not sure about other states but for some reason michigan has exempted certain vehicles from seatbelt requirements, for example, seat belts arn't required in school buses, interesting concept of need there lol.   
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« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2008, 08:27:42 AM »

Belts on all seats that will carry passengers while in motion. And they are required to be used. Only exception is to use the bathroom or get a snack. Nobody rides in the bed or bunks.

We did violate that a few times on the trip to AK when people were feeling ill, but in general we are always buckled in.

I haven't decided if I'm going to try to put them in the dinette. Probably not, since I didn't put any anchor points in my floor, and
and with my setup, it will be difficult now.

BTW, if you cut your seat rails out of the floor, the track works great for mounting seats and anchoring seat belts to the floor. Cut to length and weld in place before replacing floor. I put mine crosswise and can adjust seats out from wall, but you could put them lengthwise and get some forward and rearward adjustment capability. Might have to custom make some T bolts, depending on length needed. I did this. Works well for us.

craig
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Craig Shepard
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« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2008, 09:47:31 AM »

Whether or not to put seat belts in over-the-road coaches comes up as a subject every time there is an accident that causes the ejection of passengers.  In most bus accidents the resriction of the seat rows prevents serious injury and the modesty panel behind the front door prevents passengers from being tossed through the windshield.  In a family coach, I think seatbelts are a great idea, providing an extra measure of safety.
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« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2008, 09:54:20 AM »

Here is such an accident - happened just today in Israel.

I was originally going to post it here because it contained a comment about some of the passengers' lives being saved because they were 'strapped in their seats'. Only when I re-read it I see that is actually said 'trapped' rather than 'strapped' - but in many ways that just illustrates the same point.



"A bus carrying Russian visitors has plunged into a ravine in southern Israel, killing at least 24 people, rescue workers say.

More than 50 passengers were on the bus when it came off a desert road and rolled down a steep slope near the Red Sea resort of Eilat.

Several of those hurt were said to be in a serious condition.

The group had only just arrived and were being transported to Eilat from Ovda airport in the Negev desert.

The group had come from the Russian city of St Petersburg. Local media reports said they were travel agents from the city on a trip to survey the Red Sea resort.

Dozens of rescue workers, ambulances and several air force helicopters rushed to the site to evacuate the injured.

Television footage showed the blue bus on its side at the bottom of the ravine.

Several of the passengers were thrown from the bus as it rolled down the slope, an eyewitness said. Luggage and wreckage lay strewn across the slope.

Some of the casualties were taken to hospital in Eilat, where medical personnel attending a conference were drafted in to help out. Others were flown to the town of Beersheba, a police spokesman said.

Six injured people who were trapped in the bus were rescued, an Israeli military officer said.

"They were saved because they were trapped in their seats," the Associated Press news agency quoted the unidentified officer as saying.

The Russian embassy in Tel Aviv said it had sent a representative to the scene of the accident.

'Overtook'

The BBC's Middle East correspondent Paul Wood says it is being seen as a tragic accident rather than any kind of attack.

The road where the accident happened links Eilat, a popular holiday destination, with Ovda airport, some 50km (30 miles) away.

It crosses mountainous terrain and involves a series of hair-pin bends.

The driver of another bus said that the vehicle overtook him in a no-passing zone and then crashed through a guard rail, the Associated Press news agency reported.

A taxi driver who saw the accident gave a similar account to Israeli public radio.

"The driver of the bus tried to overtake another bus in a hair-pin curve and lost control of his vehicle," he said.







Jeremy
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cody
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« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2008, 09:59:53 AM »

The idea that nothing like that can happen to us is just not workable, any of us at any time could be involved in an accident, a brief second could change our lives forever.  We seem to be very good at putting in the monoxide monitors and make sure our generators are vented away from the buses but we need to be equally careful in how we travel, I don't have that many friends and I really don't want to loose any.
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« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2008, 10:12:47 AM »

The idea that nothing like that can happen to us is just not workable, any of us at any time could be involved in an accident, a brief second could change our lives forever.  We seem to be very good at putting in the monoxide monitors and make sure our generators are vented away from the buses but we need to be equally careful in how we travel, I don't have that many friends and I really don't want to loose any.

Well said, and yet, recently there was a whole thread by members of this board discussing the finer points of changing drivers while traveling down the highway at 70 mph!

I just don't get it sometimes.

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Craig Shepard
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« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2008, 10:16:24 AM »

I must have missed that one, I've never changed drivers while going down the road, it's hard enough just to get to the refrigerator and back before the bus starts to wander. lol
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Jriddle
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« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2008, 12:04:46 PM »

My post was just to see how many belts most put in. I understand the need for belts. Most of you have been on the road awhile and run into the need for extra belts. I was trying to get a feel of how many most put in. I am in the final stages of installing my floor and have been trying to guess as to where to weld supports on frame as I don't have all the furniture yet.

John
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John Riddle
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« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2008, 12:27:24 PM »

What I have never been able to figure out is why aren't there seat belts in school buses. Our Gov't finds it so important no to use cell phones, seat belts, helmets etc. in most areas. Not that I'm want to open up a debate of which of these is warrented or not , but really school buses sghould have belts.
Our coach has belts for 2 passengers , including the driver. Too many belts brings too many tag alongs , haha.


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« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2008, 12:30:31 PM »

John,

I only have belts for the driver and front passenger seat.

My rules are that anyone up front must have a seat belt on.

Everyone else is free to move about the coach except when we are in town or heavy traffic.

After this discussion I am going to add an additional belt in the rear for a baby seat, as I have friends who may ride with us who have very young children, something I hadn't thought about before....

Cliff

 
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« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2008, 01:25:32 PM »

   To answer the original question, we have 3 seat belts in our coach (driver's, co-pilot's and the seat behind the co-pilot). (99% of the time it is just Paula and I). On the rare occasion someone else is on board, it is usually 1 grandchild or my mother. Still enough belts for everyone on board. 
    I am not sure about seat belts on sofas due to the lateral movement of the person?  This puts entirely different dynamics on the person's body and I do not know what damage this may (or may not) cause to the person.  Jack
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« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2008, 01:41:48 PM »

Couch seat belts are common in S&S units but their effective use has been questioned by many experts including several insurance groups, the shearing effect of the belts have shown to produce horrendous wounds on test dummys mostly blamed on the lateral seating position, this has resulted in mixed reviews by many of them, currently we have only one set of seat belts in our bus, only for the driver but to make up for the lack of a second set I've increased the insurance coverage on the war department. lol  We plan on getting the second set installed soon tho, especially since she just walked by and whacked my along side the head after reading this.  Even tho she has now walked into another room I wouldn't mention anything about a mother-in-law launcher.
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« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2008, 02:16:27 PM »

John,

We have seat belts on all seats. My kids said, "no seat belts, no grandkids"! I already had them on the two front seats but now have them on all seats. My seats are all captain's chairs and fully rotate. However, I have the belts set up so they work in both directions.

Fortunately I have no side facing couches or benches, only individual seats. A side facing seat with three persons seems to me to be an invitation to disaster.

The only shoulder straps I have are the driver's and the last one to the rear. They are the only ones for which I am able to attach a shoulder strap. Neither of those is as secure as I would like but at least they will provide some support in case of a crash.

I would never install a shoulder strap over the back of a seat and to the seat because it would tend to crush the spine by pulling down. In my opinion a shoulder strap should always be attached above the shoulder at the very least and preferably a bit above the shoulder.

If there is nothing in front of a seat a lap belt only is probably ok.

Having belts only on the front seats makes no sense. The farther to the rear they are the farther they will be thrown during an accident??
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« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2008, 02:40:13 PM »

I would never install a shoulder strap over the back of a seat and to the seat because it would tend to crush the spine by pulling down. In my opinion a shoulder strap should always be attached above the shoulder at the very least and preferably a bit above the shoulder.


That's an interesting point and one which I would instinctively have agreed with myself - but presumably it must not be the case because I can think of several modern cars that have the shoulder belt mounted in exactly that way - and four-point harnesses in rally cars etc (which obviously have to pass very stringent safety standards) usually have the belt anchored to the floor directly behind the seat.

I just Googled lap-belts and came up with the article below which might be of some interest. I won't even try to think about the implications of seat belts on side-facing seats.

Incidentally, to answer the orginal question, I have just two seats fitted with belts, and haven't really considered what I would do if I had more passengers than that. I did replace the standard front seats in my bus with ones from a Chrysler Voyager, which came with full seatbelts and adjustable headrests rather than the fixed headrests of the originals.

Jeremy


Article on lap-belts:

In frontal collisions, people wearing only lap belts have a tendency to jackknife over the lap belt. Jackknifing may result in fatal or severe abdominal injuries or spinal cord injuries, or may cause the victim's head to strike the front seat back or center console causing neurological injuries.



Injuries caused by lap belts in airplane crashes have been reported since the early 1950s.  Medical literature has cited injuries caused by lap belts in automobile crashes since 1956.

For years, auto manufacturers have known the potential hazards of lap only belts.  A Swedish safety researcher wrote in 1961, almost four decades ago, that the lap belt "does not comply with minimum performance requirements because it does not maintain the occupant in an upright position, does not protect the head and thorax, and does not hold the vital parts of the body together within the car during an accident - so it has not been considered a safety belt in Sweden."

In 1967, the manager of Ford's Biomechanical Department wrote, "When properly worn, the 3-point diagonal shoulder belt has been demonstrated to offer much more greater (sic) protection to the vehicle occupant than does a single lap belt since it prevents injury from jacknifing."  In fact, U.S. auto manufacturers have been putting shoulder harnesses in the rear seats of cars sold in Australia and Europe since the early 1970s.

In 1970, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposed rulemaking which would require full lap/shoulder belts for all seating positions.  Opposition from auto manufacturers caused NHTSA to water down its original proposal, making rear seat lap/shoulder  belt installation optional for auto manufacturers. (Meanwhile, as early as 1972 in Australia and in parts of Europe, Japanese, European and American automakers began installing lap-shoulder belts for rear seat occupants.)
In July 1986, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) published its study, "Performance of Lap Belts in 26 Frontal Crashes," followed by law suits and national media attention, allerting the general public that rear seat lap belts present a hazard in very common crashes, especially to children.

In December 1986, Congress held hearings regarding this issue, but NHTSA did not require lap/shoulder belts for all outboard seating positions until 1991.
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« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2008, 03:02:47 PM »

In NZ we have no choice, all seats occupied when the bus is in motion MUST have full lap/sash seat belts.

Hence my bus has belts for driver, copilot, 3 passenger seats & 4 seats in the dinette.  This allows us to carry our kids friends if we take them on small trips or for the kids to sit at the dinette while traveling.  There are no belts on the settee as we do not intend to have anyone sitting there when in motion.

The bus did not come with belts, there is an exception for commercial vehicles.  Therefore I have had to pay to have them installed.  Installation may only be done by a certified installer.  In the dinette I have installed double seats with integrated lap/sash belts.

Cheers
    Peter
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Peter
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« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2008, 03:08:52 PM »

John,
I would never install a shoulder strap over the back of a seat and to the seat because it would tend to crush the spine by pulling down. In my opinion a shoulder strap should always be attached above the shoulder at the very least and preferably a bit above the shoulder.

    Most race cars I have seen have the shoulder straps fastend to the floor or roll cage behind the driver.  I would think that as long as the seat back is higher than the person's shoulders (as ours are), it should not make a difference.  Jack
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« Reply #21 on: December 16, 2008, 03:42:49 PM »

I agree that higher seat backs would make lower shoulder strap attaching point ok since they put the strap above the shoulders. The effect is the same as attaching the straps higher. My drivers seat is nowhere near high enough but I was able to attach the shoulder strap to the old baggage bin front with huge washers.

Unfortunately, none of my seats fit that description or are shaped so that the shoulder strap would slip off the seat back under pressure. One of the hazards of owning older vehicles I guess.

I've read about people being ejected underneath lap belts and, as I remember, it was because the belts were placed too high or were too loose. Submarineing I think it was called and was probably before self tightening belts.

I've seen people push shoulder straps aside so they are behind the shoulder, wonder what would happen if they were in an accident like that?
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« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2008, 06:30:50 PM »

We have eight belts on a total of nine seating positions; we consider the capacity of the bus to be eight. (For driving, anyway; everyone knows that real bus conversion capacity is Cocktails: 6, Dinner: 4, Sleeps: 2)

They are all lap-only, including the driver seat.  It's mostly just the two of us, and I would put shoulder belts on the driver and navigator seats downstairs if I could figure out how to do it.  The seats are ISRI spring-ride; there's no place on the seat itself to attach a shoulder harness (nor do I consider the seat back framing strong enough to do so), and anyplace else I could attach the harness wouldn't really work with the seats bouncing up and down 4" or so on the springs.  The lap belts are built into the seats, and ride up and down with them.  This lap-only arrangement did cause us to get pulled over by law enforcement once: http://ourodyssey.blogspot.com/2005/05/we-are-en-route-to-pedco-in-santa-fe.html

Upstairs we have a pair of Flexsteel captain chairs which also have built-in retractable lap belts, and the seats lock in the forward-facing position for travel.  These are the designated seats for persons 3 and 4.  Two positions on the forward-facing love seat would be where persons 5 and 6 would ride, but these seats lack any head support.  Last choice are the two belts on the side-facing three-position sofa; the belts are arranged to be usable in any one of the three positions, or both of the two outboard positions.  This sofa is also where either one of us will nap while underway, if necessary, rather than the bed (usually only when we are high-balling to a disaster area).

All of this furniture is steel-framed (Flexsteel) and thru-bolted to steel structure, as are the belt anchors.

-Sean
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« Reply #23 on: December 17, 2008, 08:52:59 AM »

Couch seat belts are common in S&S units but their effective use has been questioned by many experts including several insurance groups, the shearing effect of the belts have shown to produce horrendous wounds on test dummys mostly blamed on the lateral seating position, this has resulted in mixed reviews by many of them,

I wonder if those so called experts did any comparative analysis of the effects of the seat belts vs. the effects of launching the same passengers through the windshield in the event of a head on crash, or vs. the effects of tossing said passenger around inside the tin can while rolling sideways down a hill with the very real potential of ejection through a side window.

I can't say whether seat belts on a sideways couch will pose danger to the passenger in the event of a mishap, but I can say for certain, that the alternative definitely will.

In my coach, the couch will have belts, or it will be unused during travel.

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Craig Shepard
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« Reply #24 on: December 17, 2008, 09:04:14 AM »



Cody

  If your bus wanders when you go to the fridge  it probaly needs more toe in. to keep it straight.

uncle ned
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« Reply #25 on: December 17, 2008, 09:13:12 AM »

Craig, I agree, I'll take my chances with the belt lol.  We've all seen some pretty horrible accidents, but it goes far beyond just wearing seat belts, at one accident site up here involving a motorhome, people found a toaster that was at least 50 ft beyond the motorhome that had been launched thru the windshield.
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« Reply #26 on: December 17, 2008, 01:47:58 PM »



You may see seat belts mounted in racing cars many different ways but this is how one the major manufacturers recommends that they be installed. I would not be allowed to race if I had my shoulder belts mounted to the floor. They must be mounted as shown with the shoulder belt anchored to a cross tube of the cage or in my case the rear deck of the car.

As for our buses if we hit something hard enough for lap only belts to be a problem, I don't think it will matter considering our seating location.
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