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Old 10-27-2017, 10:23 PM
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Dave Barker Dave Barker is offline
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Re: Proposed Rule Changes for 2018

The problem with the roll bar or cage decision is that in actual fact, we have very little evidence to go by other than anecdotal evidence. Kelly feels anecdotally that having a harness would have left him with more injury following his roll over. OTOH, anecdotally Dale Earnhardt died likely because he didn't have a head and neck restraint system in a collision without a roll over. Therefore, I would like folks to "state their sources" before claiming one situation is better than the other.

As for Barry's comment that hitting a wall sideways would be safer with OEM 3 points vs a 5 point, I am not so sure. A containment seat would obviously be the only protection here but I don't see the OEM 3 points being better than the 5 points.

Another issue re the rollover protection claim of 3 point OEM belts is that if the car rolls to the left, the driver is pitched to the right and potentially out of the way. OTOH, if the car rolls to the right, the driver is pitched to the left and is just as vulnerable to crush injury as any 5 point system. No one is strong enough to resist the G forces involved and keep themselves away from the left side of the car in a right roll over.

So the concern I have is that we are IMO, not consistent. Any car with just a roll hoop is considered safe enough to use a head and neck restraint system no matter how strong the A pillar is, again, I think without empiric evidence. Meanwhile cars that have pretty good built in roll protection are not allowed to use the 5 point required for a head and neck restraint.

Therefore if roll over is the rules committee biggest concern, I would think only cars with full cages should be allowed to use 5+ point harnesses. OTOH, I think most of us would agree that high speed impacts that do not involve rollovers are more common. The way the optics of the rules look now, we seem to be actively discouraging the use of head and neck restraints in cars that may actually have pretty sound structure.

Just to make it more complicated, I think all of us would agree that a harness is significantly performance enhancing yet we don't PIP it because it is considered a safety device. Unfortunately a safety device that is not easily available to all.
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