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crash seats

Make all seats but the driver's seat rear-facing
 
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Rear-facing child seats are safer, probably because they more evenly distribute the force of impact. Why not turn all of the seats but the driver's seat 180 degrees? The driver would have to take her chances. This might eliminate the need for booster seats for smaller big kids if the seat belts were designed with kids in mind.

Second idea: for the driver, two seat belts. A shoulder belt on the right and one on the left, worn at the same time.

Third idea: crash web. Loose-fitting web that covers the entire torso. Sensors determine that the vehicle is closing on another object and causes the web to tighten around the person.

Fourth idea: rear-facing horizontal sleeper seat (with crash webbing).

Advocacy: make everyone in the car wear helmets.

nomocrow, Sep 15 2011

While you're at it... Add-on_20pseudo_20SUV_20kit
[normzone, Sep 15 2011]

[link]






       Your second and third suggestions are already extensively Baked by three, four and five-point harnesses, widely fitted in race ae and rally cars, plus aerobatic aircraft- Widely Known To Exist.   

       Ditto helmets for offroaders, car racers and pilots. These frequently incorporate communications equipment.
8th of 7, Sep 15 2011
  

       I can only assume the crash webbing is woven from spidergoat silk...
theleopard, Sep 15 2011
  

       Not really any new ideas here...
DIYMatt, Sep 15 2011
  

       It would be really scary facing backwards and seeing a car come crashing into the back of the car you are riding in!!
xandram, Sep 15 2011
  

       Since we're going so far, why not seat the driver rearward facing and provide views through displays? The controls could be rigged to compensate.   

       As for the helmets, they already require them for motorcyclists, so it's not much of a stretch to foist them on auto users as well.
normzone, Sep 15 2011
  

       // why not seat the driver rearward facing and provide views through displays? //   

       Because the forces experienced by the driver then become counter-intuitive. Extensive practice would be needed, and in an emergency the driver might still react instinctively.
8th of 7, Sep 15 2011
  

       Rear facing seats make sense if the primary impact is a head on collision. The make significantly less sense if the risk of a rear-end impact is high. Wouldn't think it makes a difference for side impacts.
MechE, Sep 15 2011
  

       We're assuming that a seatback behind you offers better protection than a seatbelt and airbag in front of you. Is there any indication that that is the case, for adults?   

       And, if so, then clearly there is a better solution, which is to develop a sort of seat sandwich, with the driver wedged securely between. Visibility could be assured either by eyeholes in the seatfront, or by making the upper part of the seatfront out of transparent squishy silicone.   

       Better yet still!!! Fill the entire car with water once the driver and passengers are in, and provide snorkels for respiration.   

       Actually, hang on...
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 15 2011
  

       ^ Well no, we're assuming that a seatback including head restraint, can spread deceleration better than a lap/shoulder strap and a pair of knees.
FlyingToaster, Sep 15 2011
  

       //We're assuming that a seatback behind you offers better protection than a seatbelt and airbag in front of you. Is there any indication that that is the case, for adults?// Actually, most modern cars get great safety ratings for front end collisions and appalling ratings for rear impacts (due to whiplash).
DIYMatt, Sep 15 2011
  

       // Is there any indication that that is the case, for adults //   

       Yes. Extensive testing by the USAF in the 1950's established the limits of acceleration that the human body can withstand. Similar tests were presumably undertaken by the Soviets but the results were not published.   

       Both the Apollo and Soyuz re-entry vehicles place the occupants in a position where the primary impact forces on landing are absorbed by the supporting couch.
8th of 7, Sep 15 2011
  
      
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