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Old 13 Nov 2000, 12:27 (Ref:48168)   #1
Crash Test
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Crash Test should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridCrash Test should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Crash "Irrelevance" Test has coem up with another irrelevant topic for you Sparky

I was thinking the other day about air bags and all of that sort of thing as the new car we won (weeh haaa) has far too many of the things, when i remembered something Liz was telling us a while ago now, about how airbags are unsafe for small/short/vertically challenged people.

Now i don't know if this is completely idiotic, but if you wanted to disable the air bags, couldn't you just remove a fuse? Or is there something else that makes them function?

Yours sincerly,
Confused
(by the simplest things)
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Old 13 Nov 2000, 14:15 (Ref:48174)   #2
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KC should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridKC should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
In the US it is illegal to transport a child in a car seat in the front of a motor vehicle. As trucks are a very large and very popular selling vehicle here, the manufacturers have been fitting a shut off switch for the passenger airbag system as their is no other place for a passenger in a standard size truck cab. However, it is not allowed by Federal law to disable a switch in a passenger car except for dire medical reasons.

As a deterrent to crash induced injuries the airbag is a good way to keep a properly belted adult from striking the dash board or steering wheel. The problem comes from people who choose to use the air bag as the first line of defense and it gets them injured by bouncing them around the inside of the car. There have been a lot of arm and head injuries from the person not staying centered in the car seta or sticking their arms up to the face and the airbag sticks their arm through the window or hits them in the head.
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Old 13 Nov 2000, 23:58 (Ref:48233)   #3
Liz
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Liz should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridLiz should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
As Crash also mentions, an air bag is very dangerous for people like me who cannot sit far enough back from them to keep from being crushed when they go off. My legs are simply too short to reach unless I sit right up against the steering wheel. My mom has the same problem. She has had hers disabled. There is no such thing as "illegal" in Alabama.

Seems to me this is yet another reason not to put airbags in Champ Cars. The pilots ae not very big (except Mikey and Paul) and the airbags would be more likely to kill them than to save them.

Do any form of racing cars have air bags, or are they considering them in any form of racing car? Side impact bags might help Rally Cars if they didn't go off without warning ... I think.
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Old 14 Nov 2000, 03:23 (Ref:48252)   #4
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Crash Test should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridCrash Test should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
I would doubt that any race series would have them, i know they have to be taken out of tin top race cars here in Oz. For one thing, in a champ car/F1 type vehicle, they probably wouldn't deploy in enough time. Another with the cart, most of the crashes that cause injuries are tail first impacts, there really isn't anything you can do about them.

With rally cars, it would probably be hard to distinguise between what is a bump in the road and a tree...
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Old 15 Nov 2000, 13:33 (Ref:48430)   #5
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What type of car did you win you lucky dog?

I work in the crash test business and from what I have seen they are a good thing. The vehicle manufacturers spend buckets of money developing safety devices because safety saves lives (and also sells cars).

There is usually a lot more to it than just an airbag, such as seat belt pre-tensioners (also fired by an explosive charge), webbing clamps, seat design, adjustable D-rings etc. All these tings work together to make a safe package. Because Aussies are required to wear seat belts our airbags are usually not as large as the US models (they are designed to restrain an unbelted driver). Most testing is done on a 50th percentile dummy (50% of the population will be this big) but most manufacturers test using small female and large male also.

They are usually hard wired so the cannot be easily disconnected. So unless you have a problem with sitting too close like Liz I'd say keep them. Did you get any other goodies like ABS?
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Old 15 Nov 2000, 17:37 (Ref:48458)   #6
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Liz should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridLiz should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
That 50% average figure assumes a person is 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs 150 lb. My mom is 5 feet tall and weighs 93, and I am 5'4" and around 130. Not even the people who design blue jeans have people our size in mind, much less people who design air bags.

The documentation the car companies came out with when the Nader people were screaming for mandatory airbags showed how dangerous they were and how likely they were to kill people, but the Nannies would not be denied - one assumes they are all over 5'10" and 200 lb. so they don't even think about it. Perhaps they think short people should have hand-operated controls? Or since they warn us that air bags will probably kill us, that if they do then we have no recourse? Weird legal thinking.

You're right about rally cars - unless you had airbags that could be hand triggered they'd be going off constantly.

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Old 16 Nov 2000, 03:49 (Ref:48538)   #7
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Crash Test should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridCrash Test should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
We won ourselves a wee small A-Class Merc. Going from the data sheet, it ha sElectronic Stability Program (ESP), 4-channel ABS, Brake Assist System, Driver and front passenger front and side air bags, frotn seat belt tensioners with intergrated belt force limiters, rear seat belt tensioners, 2 cup holders and fog lights
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Old 16 Nov 2000, 12:19 (Ref:48581)   #8
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Sounds like you got yourself a great car, Crash Test. If you visit the site for the NRMA at nrma.com.au you will find the crash test results for your car. And any others that Ncap have tested.

I understand your concerns Liz and if having the airbags disconnected is better for you and your mom then I agree. But if you are of average size I believe they should be left to function. When I first started in the industry it was not uncommon for head injury readings to be around the brain damage level but now just about all cars are about half that level and that is due to improved restraint systems and airbags. I don't sell cars and I don't make airbags, I just test them so this is only my unbiased opinion from what I have seen.
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Old 16 Nov 2000, 14:11 (Ref:48599)   #9
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Dino IV should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridDino IV should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Mercedes used airbags in their DTM\ITC Class 1 racecars and I guess they're using them right now in the new DTM series.

They wanted McLaren to feature them as well in F1 but it proved really hard to have them explode fast enough. It proved impossible to have them full blown in time using crash sensors like on normal road cars. They figured out a way of having them blow out by a sensor which was triggered by speed difference to an object in front of the car. However there wasn't enough security for non-failures so they left it out, but it's still on a FIA shelf and in the picture.
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Old 17 Nov 2000, 01:11 (Ref:48711)   #10
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Liz should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridLiz should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
But if an airbag blows in an F1 car, it would make it impossible for the pilot to see where he was headed, wouldn't it? Shouldn't he know where he was headed so he could position himself most safely?

Maybe we should force people in passenger cars to wear full face helmets and HANS devices. If nothing else, at least it would keep the kids in the car seats and stop Mommy from turning around to threaten them instead of watching the road in front of her SUV.
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Old 17 Nov 2000, 01:53 (Ref:48714)   #11
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True true... but what saves the race drivers? A helmet and a decent set of seat belts. I think shoulder straps would be of a lot more use road crashes, not so much a helmet. Generally you can survive leg injuries, so wouldn't be an improvement if you prevent head injuries by not allowing their heads to hit the steering wheel/dash?

About F1: The bags would go off just when you would be hitting the object, thus it would be too late to steer around it. The thing is that at 300+ km/h they wouldn't be able to get the bag to go off until after there was an impact...
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