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Discussion Starter #1
hey guys I thought ya'll might be interrested in this too. I have gotten a lor of help over the year of being here and after the tragity of our fellow autocrosser and now me I have to say thank god for safety equipment. so head my warning if you race get harnesses and even better a roll cage. this happened when I was on my way home and please never ever ever drive while drinking. no one was hurt here I was the only person in the car. I was lucky very lucky. I was hit by a drunk driver that ran me off the road and then the focus rolled twice. and this was at a 40 mph. so take a look and know that all you dallas SCCA and BMWCCA people will not be seing this focus anymore.



http://www.imagestation.com/album/?id=4289175393
 

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My friend,
SOMEONE was looking over you....

If the Driver's side roof had hit like the passenger's side, the harness would'nt have been any help at all.
I'm glad you came out OK.

BTW, which other Tragedy are you referring to?
 

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Sorry to hear about the rollover, and glad you walked away. I do however think you were very lucky to have survived this. I would recomend against the Schroth and no rollbar. Did you slide down in the seat? How tall are you? My melon would have looked like those old 60's drivers ed movies.

I did note that the B Pillars look like they held up pretty well.

-Scott
 

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I was waiting for the harness nay-sayers to chime in before I said anything. Clearly, the harness helped save him fom injury. The highest point of the roof is in line with the B-pillars. The harnesses held him upright and closer to this safety zone. All modern cars are designed this way, so that there is essentially a roll bar hoop in the middle of the car.

Yes, if the structural colapse had been more severe, there is a a strong possibility of more injury being sustained. However, such compromise would have been at the expense of the B-pillar meaning the factory seatbelt mount would have been compromised also. I very much doubt that had the shoulder belt mount been pushed down and the shoulder strap allowed to slip off, would the injuries caused by an unrestrained torso have been any less serious.

I am sure that other people will see other things, but this reinforces my opinion that DOT legal harnesses are a positive safety addition.
 

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Glad that you weren’t hurt.

I have a Schroth in my car also but I don’t ever wear it unless I’m racing, maybe I should reconsider. Does anyone wear theirs on a dally basis? The reason I haven’t is I found it a bit hard to see what’s going on around me.
 

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in the many, many times i've been hit, I've always felt likt a harness could've helped me from injury, especially the one where my knee slammed into the focus dash and got ruined.

Granted i don't HAVE a harness so I don't know how important my opinion is, but, I'm definitely thinking bout getting one now..
 

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Discussion Starter #8
As pertaining to the tragity I mentioned, I could be wrong but didnt a zx3 driver die in a race or autocross due to a roll over?

but I now know why I went with a DOT aproved harness I know a lot of people will bash this but the harness kept me in one place I rolled two times and I know that the factory belt would not have held me in one place and prevented my neck from breaking.
 

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could you (miked) or some of the detractors of the harness in street situations explain why it's bad? I know the reasons why it'd be a good idea, and i also know the good and bad of the rollcage. And the hundreds that'll read this post prolly could do with some explanation as well.
 

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Very glad to hear you're ok Miked!

I don't know... Its such a game of chance. Yes, the harness may have kept you in place better, but probably would of killed, or turned a passenger into a vegetable. Especially if this was actually on the track and there were 2-3 inches of helmet above you.



One of my main fears with harnesses on the street, is what happens when you do get in a bad accident, have huge hospital bills, and your insurance company refuses to pay due to the fact you were "not wearing OEM safety restraints"? Let alone if even worse happens and your family is denied a life insurance policy based on this. Sure you could get lawyers and go down fighting, but still you're out of pocket expenses would still be huge.

I guess I'm just an OEM on the street, harness on the track kinda guy.
 

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As pertaining to the tragity I mentioned, I could be wrong but didnt a zx3 driver die in a race or autocross due to a roll over?

but I now know why I went with a DOT aproved harness I know a lot of people will bash this but the harness kept me in one place I rolled two times and I know that the factory belt would not have held me in one place and prevented my neck from breaking.
I'm not aware of the incident you're referring to...

Guys, the Argument AGAINST Harnesses on the Street is for those w/ no Roll-Bar. The THOUGHT is that, OEM Seatbelts are designed in such a way that they allow your body to "Fall Over" in the seat, while not going forward, such that any roll-over injury will be avoided by the fact that your body will Slide/flex/flop further from a caving roof, where one which is held upright cannot "Squish Down", therefore their head is being held in a Dangerous location should the top cave in.
I have not Formed my own opinion at this time.
As TeamDFL points out, there was enough support in the B-Pillar, that in YOUR case, the harness kept you from "Flying" to a location where your head would've likely been hit.
He points out the "Hoop" of the B-Pillars.
For Debate's sake, I see that passenger's side and wonder if this wasn't as much luck as anything....
The way it APPEARS in the Photos, a Passenger in a Harness would've been held nicely in place while scrambled eggs were prepared on the headliner.
Tough to say...
Either way, I'm Thankful that you're alright.
I'm no Expert at all, I'm just posting both sides of the argument.
 

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ok, i understand a lot better now. Harness is safer should the structural integrity of hte car be strong enough to not deform significantly (e.g. rollbar, or B pillar held up)
but in the case of a car whose roof would crush, OEM safety belt is much better choice.


NO rollbar = take chances w/ OEM belt

rollbar = bar padding, harness (definitely not belt), and hope no head injury or wear helmet on street.
 

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Vehicle manufactures are looking into four point seatbelt systems but they are still having problems with 'submarining' with both the V systems and criss cross systems. They do believe they can get this worked out and have systems in cars in the next five years. They are also having issues with law makers trying to get 4 point systems approved. If it can take automakers years to make a system safe, there is no way in my mind that these 4 point aftermarket systems can be better.

-Scott

PS Submarining is sliding under the lap belt in an accident.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
well actually the pass seat was moved. I sat in the car today and if the pass (in this case) would have just had a bitch of a time getting out. I understand what your saying and I agree with you but in this case I have to say thank you god and thaank you harnesses. Oh, and thank you luck, your check is in the mail.


Just my opinion I would switch back and forth between the harness and the oem belt but I never felt as safe with the oem after wearing the harness. This s mostly because the focus seats have no side bolstering at all. But it was a psychosamantic thing and I know that but it worked and I am glad to have walked away with just some bruises and some cuts.
 

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Wow... where to start?

First, congrats on surviving. I just walked away from a wreck too. Mine was a front collision, and let me say you're lucky that's not what happened to you with that Schroth harness.

I STILL think 4 point harnesses are crazy dangerous in frontal collisions. I have NOT seen anything resembling crash test photos, or anything of the sort to show they are safe. The absence of crash test info from Schroth leads me to believe my understanding of the physics of crashes is probably right, and that makes those thing unsafe.

Now, on to the rollover with harness discussion.

I'm not sure anybody can say you would have been worse off with the stock belts. Tough call. Yes, less belts means you aren't restrained as well. But don't forget about the pyrotechnic pretensioners that fire, and cinch the belt down.

However, I've said this before and I'll say it again. I'm not sure the risk of a rollover head crush with a harness is worse than the benefit of the extra restraint you get from a 5 or 6 point harness (NO FOUR POINTS!). We've seen in this case you did just fine with a harness. But I can start to see the risk if it was at higher speed. The passenger side roof totally failed... yeah, the B pillar held up, but the roof buckled concave, and could have smashed the face of the passenger, crushed head, whatever.

I had planned on putting a roll hoop to protect me from this with a harness... but looking at this, even THAT isn't good enoug!
Even if the B pillar hoop stays intact, that roof collapsing concave like that is BAD NEWS.

I dunno what to think anymore.
 

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This is of great personal debate for me as well now.

Given my new track suspension setup I feel the need for a better seat and harness much more so than I did before.

Then again I also wish to retain my backseat so I really dont want to have to install a rollbar.

Of course I also dont want to feel like if something happens Im likely to end up dead or paralyzed.

It isn't just us that debates this either, I brought the topic up to my spec miata friend and he said the same thing.

Theorize that potentially anyway a aftermarket proper seat would put you lower than stock thus giving more headroom. Take into account what DFL said in regards to the B pillars and it makes my headspin.

now I have to ask, not that I am naysaying anyones opinions but do we have confirmed cases that someone could reference where someone did DIE in a roll-over due to having a harness? I mean is it documented as being the harness or they would have survived? Or is this all speculation based on looking at post accident photos?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
oh, sorry guys this might be trivial but I had the drivers seat cranked all the way down. I dont know why I bother to mention this other than to mess with someone elses mind besides mine. I cant begin to explain the sureal experience this is. If anything I thank you guys for talking about this cause if anything it is helping me work through this. Now I know at this point a lot of you are saying "whatever" but the truth of it is I could have very very easily died in this and for whatever reason I was able to walk away with only scratches. Trust me it makes you think, especially when your only 23 years old. Like I said I am not trying to preach but if you race on a track be as safe as possible, well hell on the street be 500% safer than at the track. The track is a controlled environment that you know you have to put thought into. On the street things unexpected always happen. If your considering a roll cage dont half ass it because the weight of the car is up front and just what heppned to me will happen. The B pillar is strong sheet metal isnt. Also if you have a cage get a harness. more metal isnt good if your only going to pretend your a pinball. As I said earlier these are just my thoughts and I am not trying to endorse a product here other than safty. Just please be careful people I was lucky 1/100,000,000. Most people arnt. I am sorry if this is getting too long but like I said I am very emotionally involved with this. With that I will end this very long reply.
 

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how involved would putting in a cage that braced the A pillars be? Ive seen some really clean installations in RWD cars where yes, the cage could be seen, but the dash was left more or less intact and you coudl *almost*imagine it being a factory option.
 

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Here's another example of a roll over accident. This happened last month, at Road Atlanta I believe.




Driver life-flighted away and instructor (passenger) rushed to hospital by ambulance. Again, b-pillars seemed to have survived. Not sure if a harness was involved or not though.

Then of course, there's this one where the b-pillar did fail.


In my totally unejumacated mind, it seems like the only time a harness would NOT help is if the b-pillars failed. Only then would the stock 3 pt belt be a significant benefit. And the addition of a roll bar should help keep that from happening. Even with the stock belts or a harness, if the a-pillars are going to come crashing down into your lap, you're in for a bad day.

Its accidents like that RSX were in that I fear on the track, and hence is the reason for my roll bar purchase.
 

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Those are bad and all but check this out. This guy went down 250 feet and rolled 15 times in his Mazdaspeed Protoge


Album of Pics of Accident

I would have to argue somewhat that while yes a harness and bar is optimal, we are talking about track days not wheel to wheel racing. We dont wear nomex and suits either. You should not be driving outside of your ability or hard enough to cause that kind of a crash. I would venture to guess most of the crashes we see at track days are exactly that people trying to drive beyond their skill instead of enjoying the track day inside their limits. Now garyrich is a very limited exception which was caused due to mechanical failure and adverse off track conditions.
 
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