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Author Topic: Seat Belt Question  (Read 5435 times)
JackConrad
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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
« Last Edit: December 16, 2008, 03:01:35 PM by JackConrad » Logged

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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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gus
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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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PD4107-152
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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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JackConrad
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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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Sean
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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
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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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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Lee Bradley
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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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