• Cfthelin avatar Cfthelin Posted: 6/22/2011 11:18am PDT

    (cont) The inflated shoulder belts had the advantage of acting like belt pre-tensioners when they pulled the user back to the seat. As you can imagine, the car makers were unimpressed.

    Good for Ford for moving ahead now. Making such belts optionally available for the seats beyond the second would be wonderful for full-sized passenger vans.

  • Cfthelin avatar Cfthelin Posted: 6/22/2011 11:17am PDT

    Forty years ago we were experimenting with seat belts and airbags to give the government some direction on the path for car crash safety. We anticipated a tough fight to get the industry and buyers to accept and use plain manual shoulder belts in the back seat. Retractors? Forgetaboutit!

    We played with inflatable shoulder belts for several reasons. It was impractical to put an ordinary rear-firing one on the back of the front seat, and making one drop down from above still depended upon the ability of the front seatback to take the load without adding injury to the belted person on the front seat. I investigated real cases like that later.