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Nov 17, 2020 - 7:46:12 AM
5434 posts since 9/16/2004

The safety comparison of vaccines to seat belts was recently brought several times in several different threads. I can't resist this opportunity for controversy and to be misunderstood...
... onward;

Condition one: You're involved in a head on collision.
Condition two: You're car rolls over in a crash
Condition three: You're driving though an intersection when a car coming from the left (right in England, OZ, NZ, Japan) blows the red light and hits you in the (drivers) door.

In condition one, there's no doubt that your chances for survival are greater if wearing a seat belt. The only caveat is something heavy from behind shoving you down into the seat, resulting in the seat belt imprinting you like a pretzel.

In condition two, once again, there's no doubt you'll be better off strapped in... unless your car lands in a lake upside down or catches fire.

Condition three is the one that concerns me because it's the one I have least control of. There is little doubt that you'd be better off if you were "unbelted."

Considering the above, I wondered why the insurance companies lobbied for the seat belt law. Was it because it gives their actuaries a more accurate constant... thus closer economic calculation for determining margins?

Edited by - Frisco Fred on 11/17/2020 08:48:53

Nov 17, 2020 - 8:00:13 AM
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3135 posts since 4/29/2012

I've always thought the roads would be safer if passengers were allowed seatbelts but the driver had a) no seatbelt and b) a 6 inch rusty iron spike sticking out of the centre of the steering wheel.

Nov 17, 2020 - 8:47:34 AM
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phb

Germany

2333 posts since 11/8/2010

quote:
Originally posted by Frisco Fred

Condition three is the one that concerns me because it's the one I have least control of. There is little doubt that you'd be better off if you were "unbelted."
 

I actually do doubt that you'd be better off unbelted in that situation. I think that without side airbags you are very likely to be dead anyway but probably even more without seatbelt than with a seatbelt.

Generally you need to put the probabilities of each situation into the equation: no1&2 are more likely to happen than no3, hence, seatbelts result in much lower numbers of deaths on the street (which is an easily proven fact looking at the stats from the 70s to the present).

Nov 17, 2020 - 9:06:18 AM
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4025 posts since 11/29/2005

If you're not belted in condition 3, you will:
1. die (or incur fatal injuries) from impact of other vehicle into you
2. die (or incur fatal injuries) from impact with passenger-side door
3. " " " " " from multiple impacts with roof, passenger-side door, driver-side door, windows, windshield, seats, seat backs, steering wheel, floor, back seat, and any loose objects flying around the car.

(Had to extricate more than 1 person who had been through this scenario with the Fire service.). I ALWAYS fasten my seatbelt, even to back out of the garage.

Nov 17, 2020 - 9:13:25 AM
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56442 posts since 12/14/2005

The doc in our small town, for whom my Mom worked as an office person, told her that he had spent far too many pleasant afternoons when he COULD have been out playing golf, but instead was patching up people who had not been properly belted.
He would click on HIS seat belt, even if only moving his car from the front of his house, around back to the garage.

Nov 17, 2020 - 10:03:21 AM
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Players Union Member

Brian T

Canada

17534 posts since 6/5/2008

The local hotrod club in my city had a very good reputation.
Back in the late 50's and 60's, they did retro installations of seatbelts.
Lap belts was as good as it gets in that day and time.

Too many people got their faces caved in on the steering wheel so shoulders were added.

"Don't be caught dead, sitting on your seatbelt."

My attitude was if race car drivers and pilots can wear seatbelts, so can I.

Nov 17, 2020 - 12:59:25 PM

Owen

Canada

7397 posts since 6/5/2011

John, if you're serious about "looking for trouble" re. seat belts, how 'bout swearing off their use completely?   Sooner or later [or both?]  your path and trouble's path should cross.    cheeky

Nov 17, 2020 - 3:41:51 PM

Buddur

USA

2857 posts since 10/23/2004

quote:
Originally posted by Frisco Fred

Was it because it gives their actuaries a more accurate constant... thus closer economic calculation for determining margins?


Dang it.  Ya had me up until the last line. 

Nov 17, 2020 - 3:54:34 PM

5434 posts since 9/16/2004

quote:
Originally posted by Owen

John, if you're serious about "looking for trouble" re. seat belts, how 'bout swearing off their use completely?   Sooner or later [or both?]  your path and trouble's path should cross.    cheeky


"Trouble" in the title block was the controversy.  Even if I don't try, I seem to bring it on...hence the warning. 

I wear the belts, along with my Bell helmet and Simpson fire suit.  But outside the track, never.  

Nov 17, 2020 - 3:58:21 PM

5434 posts since 9/16/2004

quote:
Originally posted by Buddur
quote:
Originally posted by Frisco Fred

Was it because it gives their actuaries a more accurate constant... thus closer economic calculation for determining margins?


Dang it.  Ya had me up until the last line. 

 


The last line was a question.  I witnessed everything else. 

Nov 17, 2020 - 4:35:57 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

24230 posts since 6/25/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Frisco Fred

The safety comparison of vaccines to seat belts was recently brought several times in several different threads. I can't resist this opportunity for controversy and to be misunderstood...
... onward;

Condition one: You're involved in a head on collision.
Condition two: You're car rolls over in a crash
Condition three: You're driving though an intersection when a car coming from the left (right in England, OZ, NZ, Japan) blows the red light and hits you in the (drivers) door.

In condition one, there's no doubt that your chances for survival are greater if wearing a seat belt. The only caveat is something heavy from behind shoving you down into the seat, resulting in the seat belt imprinting you like a pretzel.

In condition two, once again, there's no doubt you'll be better off strapped in... unless your car lands in a lake upside down or catches fire.

Condition three is the one that concerns me because it's the one I have least control of. There is little doubt that you'd be better off if you were "unbelted."

Considering the above, I wondered why the insurance companies lobbied for the seat belt law. Was it because it gives their actuaries a more accurate constant... thus closer economic calculation for determining margins?


Condition three would also depend on whether you had side-curtain airbags.

Nov 17, 2020 - 5:06:20 PM

Banjo Lefty

Canada

2092 posts since 6/19/2014

EVERYTHING depends on how fast the vehicles are travelling. Above a certain speed, seat belts won't help no matter what. Below a certain speed, everything is survivable even if nobody's wearing seat belts. We belt up for those collisions which occur in between those two limits.

Nov 17, 2020 - 5:42:59 PM

9784 posts since 8/22/2006

Condition three was exactly how my father died. Car T-Boned him no side airbag. The speed limit for the on coming traffic was 45 mph wether the on coming car was doing exactly 45? I highly doubt it. And the on coming car was a tank on wheels and my father was in a mid size economy class tin can on wheels. Was he wearing seatbelts? Don’t have a clue, nothing mentioned in the accident report about belts. 

Edited by - 5B-Ranch on 11/17/2020 17:46:25

Nov 17, 2020 - 9:44:39 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

24230 posts since 6/25/2005

My brother-in-law’s father was killed in a similar wreck. Fault was probably the county’s because the view of the intersecting road was obscured until you were into the intersection.

Nov 18, 2020 - 1:52:37 AM

Paul R

Canada

13612 posts since 1/28/2010

I'm not sure being unbelted would be any better. The strap is over the left shoulder so impact would move the upper body anyway (the strap would slip off your shoulder). But there is an obstruction below the waist, the storage compartment between the driver's and passenger's seats, that would prevent you from sliding out of the way. In our car it's pretty substantial.

Nov 18, 2020 - 5:43:23 AM

mander

USA

4485 posts since 10/7/2007

One of the many reasons I stopped getting into a car with the man I married is his driving attitude. He will take chances with my side of the car, while he is very defensive and observant of his side. He has said more than once, "Why should I care if you get hit? I won't get hurt."
I am told, statically, the driver's side is the safest side.

Nov 18, 2020 - 5:48:41 AM

Buddur

USA

2857 posts since 10/23/2004

quote:
Originally posted by Frisco Fred
quote:
Originally posted by Buddur
quote:
Originally posted by Frisco Fred

Was it because it gives their actuaries a more accurate constant... thus closer economic calculation for determining margins?


Dang it.  Ya had me up until the last line. 

 


The last line was a question.  I witnessed everything else. 


Yes...a question...since the sentence had a question mark.  But 1) it is too esoteric, and 2) has no reference to vaccines to bring your point to full safety comparison loop to seat belts like your first line implies.  

Nov 18, 2020 - 6:08:29 AM
Players Union Member

DC5

USA

15816 posts since 6/30/2015

I don't think situation 3 is survivable belted or not, assuming speed > 30MPH (48KPH). However if the T-Boning car hits ahead of the drivers door, or behind it the seat-belt will help in survival. I was driving a Honda CRX (2-seater) when I was hit by a tractor trailer running a red light. The truck hit my left front quarter panel and I could actually look up at the top of the tire of the truck. (If you've ever been in an accident, these things happen in very slow motion). At the last second I was able to turn the wheel sharply to the right, allowing the impact to turn the car away from the truck. The seat-belt did it's job and kept me behind the wheel so I could continue to steer the car toward the side of the road. I suffered neck whiplash, but no other injuries other than a black and blue mark where the shoulder belt grabbed me.

My mother worked at the town hall in a small town when someone came in to pay a bill or apply for some permit. He was all bruised about his face and my mother asked him what happened. He said that he lost control of his truck on some ice and it rolled over. When she said she was sorry he said don't be, he was stupid. Because he was not wearing his belt he was tossed all over the truck while it rolled and that's how he got injured, but worst of all, he was the only one in the truck not wearing a belt. His wife and baby were also in the car and he nearly killed them, not from the accident, but from his own body being tossed about the truck.

People looking for the 1 in 1,000 chance that a belt might be worse than not a belt as an excuse to not wear them are just kidding themselves. Much like smoking cancer or maskless Covid deniers, they ignore the science and the statistics. A friend who was an EMT once told me that he rarely unbuckled a corpse.

Nov 18, 2020 - 6:32:44 AM
Players Union Member

DC5

USA

15816 posts since 6/30/2015

quote:
Originally posted by mander

One of the many reasons I stopped getting into a car with the man I married is his driving attitude. He will take chances with my side of the car, while he is very defensive and observant of his side. He has said more than once, "Why should I care if you get hit? I won't get hurt."
I am told, statically, the driver's side is the safest side.


Statistically, the rear center seat, assuming shoulder straps, is the safest seat for persons under 55.  55 and older it is either front seat with a shoulder strap, assuming a new enough car to have self locking shoulder straps.  Improvements in technology will likely move this to the middle rear seat again.

Nov 18, 2020 - 6:45:05 AM

5434 posts since 9/16/2004

Bill, Paul & 5B-Ranch replied with valid points to condition 3. The most salient was whether a center console was present. The collision I witnessed was between a late sixties Mustang and a late sixties Pontiac Catalina. The Pontiac had no center console. The collision occurred on a multi lane highway with a posted speed limit of 65 MPH. The driver of the Pontiac attempted to make an illegal U-turn from the right hand shoulder of the road, and in front of the Mustang coming up from behind. The Mustang hit the Pontiac squarely in it's drivers door. All occupants were injured. Amazingly, injuries to the driver of the Pontiac were minor. The occupants of the Mustang had to be hospitalized. The only possible explanation is, the impact and deformation of the Pontiac's door shoved the driver across it's "bench" seat. Both cars were totaled.

This topic is/was to explore the perception of seat belt laws.

Note to Bill and 5B-Ranch, sorry for your tragic losses.

One final note:
I DO NOT recommend not wearing seat belts. Percentages suggest that you are more likely to survive an accident when caught off guard and restrained. This goes triple for children.

Edited by - Frisco Fred on 11/18/2020 06:49:48

Nov 18, 2020 - 7:08:12 AM

5434 posts since 9/16/2004

I have to disagree with DC 5 Dave's exception of 1 / 1000.

Two beautiful teenage girls from my small town were trapped by their belts and drown when their car slid off the road and landed upside down in a stream.

How the belt might or might not save you depends on where the impact to the car is and how the belts are secured to the cars chassis. If chassis deformation occurs at the belts mounting point, the lap portion could pull you into the seat and sever your spine. I did not witness this occurrence, but have second hand knowledge of this gruesome accident.

Edited by - Frisco Fred on 11/18/2020 07:10:03

Nov 18, 2020 - 7:08:55 AM

2383 posts since 2/10/2013

In some places, not using a seat belt can have an adverse affect on the contents of a persons wallet.

Nov 18, 2020 - 7:15:57 AM
Players Union Member

DC5

USA

15816 posts since 6/30/2015

quote:
Originally posted by Frisco Fred

I have to disagree with DC 5 Dave's exception of 1 / 1000.

Two beautiful teenage girls from my small town were trapped by their belts and drown when their car slid off the road and landed upside down in a stream.

How the belt might or might not save you depends on where the impact to the car is and how the belts are secured to the cars chassis. If chassis deformation occurs at the belts mounting point, the lap portion could pull you into the seat and sever your spine. I did not witness this occurrence, but have second hand knowledge of this gruesome accident.


Almost none of us do, but you should carry, or have easily accessible in the car, a way to cut the seat belts and to break the windows.  In a collision, the force could be so great that you can no longer unbuckle the belt, and if you are submerged, the electrical system will fail and you will be unable to open the power windows.  Something like this is cheap insurance, even if you never have to use it. https://www.amazon.com/VicTsing-Safety-Emergency-Breaker-Survival/dp/B01M4QP2O0/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=seat+belt+cutter&qid=1605712299&sr=8-5

Don't leave it where it will fly around the car in a roll over.  Find a way to fasten it somewhere where you can reach it from the drivers side. 

EDIT: and regarding the 1:1,000 - how many auto accidents in your area result in cars being submerged upside down in water?  Out of total accidents I suspect it is much less than 1:1,000.

Edited by - DC5 on 11/18/2020 07:18:20

Nov 18, 2020 - 7:22:47 AM

Owen

Canada

7397 posts since 6/5/2011

 
Originally posted by Paul R

<snip> The strap is over the left shoulder so impact would move the upper body anyway (the strap would slip off your shoulder). But there is an obstruction below the waist, the storage compartment between the driver's and passenger's seats, that would prevent you from sliding out of the way. In our car it's pretty substantial.


Paul, where the heck was this when we had the "physics question" thread goin' on?   cheeky

Wouldn't  the initial impact move the shoulder belt toward the neck, due to inertia?  However, I don't question the benefit of the belt in countering forward inertia and in keeping the body in the seat on "rebound."  I don't think I'll put much stock in the substantial (?) between-the-seats compartment.... and it would only help if the seat belt keeps the body in the seat, no?

I too question Dave's 1:1000.... without checking any stats I'd guess it's probably more like 1:10,000 [or more?]...

Nov 18, 2020 - 7:39:57 AM
Players Union Member

DC5

USA

15816 posts since 6/30/2015

quote:
Originally posted by Owen
 
 

I too question Dave's 1:1000.... without checking any stats I'd guess it's probably more like 1:10,000 [or more?]...


OK, I admit it.  I pulled that one out of thin air, just like people who claim they would be better off without a seatbelt pull that out of thin air.  Frankly, I think we both under estimate it.  To think "I'm not going to wear a seat belt because in the event that ..." is false thinking and ignoring all the data, and all the more likely events where the seat belt will save your life. 

Nov 18, 2020 - 7:45:07 AM

5434 posts since 9/16/2004

quote:
Originally posted by Owen
 
Originally posted by Paul R

The strap is over the left shoulder so impact would move the upper body anyway (the strap would slip off your shoulder). But there is an obstruction below the waist, the storage compartment between the driver's and passenger's seats, that would prevent you from sliding out of the way. In our car it's pretty substantial.


Paul, where the heck was this when we had the "physics question" thread goin' on?   cheeky

Wouldn't  the initial impact move the shoulder belt toward the neck, due to inertia?  However, I don't question the benefit of the belt in countering forward inertia and in keeping the body in the seat on "rebound."  I don't think I'll put much stock in the substantial (?) between-the-seats compartment.... and it would only help if the seat belt keeps the body in the seat, no?

I too question Dave's 1:1000.... without checking any stats I'd guess it's probably more like 1:10,000 [or more?]...


I wondered about this too... that is, in regard to the Pontiac vs. Mustang accident that I witnessed.   Since  ~ 2 minutes elapsed from the time of the collision till the time I saw the driver of the Pontiac, I don't know how he avoided more severe injuries to the left side of his head... maybe he ducked at the last moment.

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