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Old 26th May 2016, 00:32   #1
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Default Rear entertainment screens - Dangerous or safe?

So I was with a friend who was interested in buying in car entertainment system with two lcd screens installed on the back of front seat headrests. I was skeptical on safety aspects. Hard objects can be injurious to rear seat occupiers.

For now he has deferred decision but we need to evaluate and see if any study or inputs are available.
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Old 26th May 2016, 07:18   #2
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I was skeptical on safety aspects. Hard objects can be injurious to rear seat occupiers.
Totally agree with you on this. Safety of rear seat occupants has been given relatively less importance over the years. Only in the past year or so, organisations like NCAP and NHTSA have started focusing more on this. May be in the future, we will see better seat belt designs and more airbags coming in for rear seat passengers.

Even I prefer a single roof mounted screen which is visible to all rear seat passengers. Can your friend not look at this option instead?

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Photograph is of a 2016 Toyota Vellfire 7 seater minivan.
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Old 26th May 2016, 09:23   #3
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Default re: Rear entertainment screens - Dangerous or safe?

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Originally Posted by sudev View Post
So I was with a friend who was interested in buying in car entertainment system with two lcd screens installed on the back of front seat headrests. I was skeptical on safety aspects. Hard objects can be injurious to rear seat occupiers.

For now he has deferred decision but we need to evaluate and see if any study or inputs are available.
Here are my thoughts. It's ok to install these ICE monitors on the headrest provided the owner insists on rear seat passengers wearing their seat belts. But how many do? I very, very rarely see rear seat passengers wearing seat belts and if they do they're mostly from overseas. People in this country take safety very casually.

I would not recommend altering the headrest (if required to install the monitor) or any other factory fitted safety feature. These safety features are designed to work in tandem to protect the driver and passengers. Alterations may lead to compromises on safety.
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Old 26th May 2016, 11:50   #4
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Default re: Rear entertainment screens - Dangerous or safe?

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Originally Posted by Viju View Post
Totally agree with you on this. Safety of rear seat occupants has been given relatively less importance over the years. Only in the past year or so, organisations like NCAP and NHTSA have started focusing more on this. May be in the future, we will see better seat belt designs and more airbags coming in for rear seat passengers.

Even I prefer a single roof mounted screen which is visible to all rear seat passengers. Can your friend not look at this option instead?

Attachment 1510705

Photograph is of a 2016 Toyota Vellfire 7 seater minivan.
I'm sorry but why is this even recommended?
All I know is that it obstructs the IRVM completely and the driver adds a major blind spot to the vehicle.
I know that such screens are to be used when not in motion, but I have hardly seen anyone follow that guideline. In fact on a vacation trip I have seen such vehicles loaded with people merrily watching movies and zipping by dangerously.

Headrest screens may or may not lead to accident, but using roof top screens will certainly lead to one!

Last edited by GTO : 26th May 2016 at 15:58. Reason: Typo
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Old 26th May 2016, 11:55   #5
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Default re: Rear entertainment screens - Dangerous or safe?

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I'm sorry but why is this even recommended?
All I know is that it obstructs the IRVM completely and the driver adds a major blind spot to the vehicle.
Good point. Somehow, never thought about it as I have not used it. But it could also be that in factory-fitted systems like this, the view from the IRVM is not blocked and it is the angle of the photograph which makes it look so.

My Odyssey has a single monitor fixed to the driver seat headrest mounting and it swivels to the center position. That way, it stays in the center, and is at shoulder level.

May be a better option is to have two roof-mounted LCDs on either side so that the IRVM isn't blocked and it is safer for rear passengers. Even that will work only in wide cars though.

Last edited by GTO : 26th May 2016 at 15:58. Reason: Quoted post edited
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Old 26th May 2016, 16:01   #6
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Default Re: Rear entertainment screens - Dangerous or safe?

I say NOT SAFE. If you had to hit my face with something, I'd much rather it be the soft back of a headrest rather than a hard glass / plastic panel .

Not only that, I'm not a fan of rear food trays either. They're especially dangerous when in 'up' position. No worse way to puncture someone's chest .

With all these hard objects in their way, rear passengers had better buckle up.
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Old 26th May 2016, 16:53   #7
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Default Re: Rear entertainment screens - Dangerous or safe?

OT: Why do we need something "electronic" for our group journeys? We may as well talk, share memories, feelings, experiences etc. We have so less time for our families and friends anyway, why should we be slaved by an artificial world when we are together for some time..
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Old 26th May 2016, 17:43   #8
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Default Re: Rear entertainment screens - Dangerous or safe?

A film or game showing in front of the car is an obvious distraction to the driver, but I wouldn't want one going on in the back either.
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Old 27th May 2016, 06:39   #9
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Default Re: Rear entertainment screens - Dangerous or safe?

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OT: Why do we need something "electronic" for our group journeys? We may as well talk, share memories, feelings, experiences etc.
Try telling that to a 3 year old who is not sleepy and wants to watch his / her favourite cartoon for a while on a 10 hour drive.
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Old 27th May 2016, 13:36   #10
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Default Re: Rear entertainment screens - Dangerous or safe?

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Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
A film or game showing in front of the car is an obvious distraction to the driver, but I wouldn't want one going on in the back either.
Just to add, rear entertainment systems usually have a headphone jack, so it's not distracting to the driver. With kids on the back seat, them being preoccupied is probably better for the driver.
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Old 27th May 2016, 13:50   #11
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Default Re: Rear entertainment screens - Dangerous or safe?

Screens for the rear passengers are perfectly fine. The alternate proposed here of the screen dropping from the IRVM is much more dangerous as it can prove to be a direct distraction for the driver.

With regard to the safety of the rear passengers, I would say that if they are wearing a seat belt then the chances of the occupant hitting the front seat head-rest are remote.

If they do hit the head-rest, then the car would need to have suffered extensive damage and injury from other sources are more likely.

Apart from this some may argue that any video playing, even in the rear seats, can be distracting for the driver. For that I say, how different is it from listening to music or engaging in conversation with the passengers or even listening to the conversation of the passengers.
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Old 27th May 2016, 14:53   #12
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Default Re: Rear entertainment screens - Dangerous or safe?

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A film or game showing in front of the car is an obvious distraction to the driver, but I wouldn't want one going on in the back either
I always thought the same way. But in reality its not. When the movie that is running is daniel the tiger or chugginton or mickey mouse.

I initially had apprehension to install a dvd player based unit in the front. Now i dont regret.

Best distraction for the kid and the kid is ready to sit with seat belt on and is asking for his own car seat so he can be comfortable. As a driver so far its not distracting. But on a larger population its definitely not something that i would recommend as well.
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Old 27th May 2016, 14:59   #13
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Default Re: Rear entertainment screens - Dangerous or safe?

Interesting thread.

In my XUV, I fitted MMI headrests - for second row passengers (my kids) to watch movies with headphones and stay busy. Lesser distraction for me. Any day preferred thing - has helped immensely for me to stay safe on road. So far no issues.

Until one I realise - the headrest for driver and passenger have become some what weaker because of their swivel actions. What if I get a whiplash? My neck will be broke for sure. So from that perspective it is definitely a safety hazzard.

So what am I going to do? Soon, replace these headrests with OEM. Buy two low capacity used iPads, and hand them over to both kids with their personal choices of games and music/ videos. If I can put them in cover with lace connected to their seats buckle base, I avoid accidental flying of those objects inside the cabin.
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Old 27th May 2016, 15:53   #14
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Default Re: Rear entertainment screens - Dangerous or safe?

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Just to add, rear entertainment systems usually have a headphone jack, so it's not distracting to the driver. With kids on the back seat, them being preoccupied is probably better for the driver.
Perfect example the Hema Malini accident: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/street...ml#post3746363
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Old 27th May 2016, 18:42   #15
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Default Re: Rear entertainment screens - Dangerous or safe?

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Originally Posted by TD_GHY View Post
OT: Why do we need something "electronic" for our group journeys? We may as well talk, share memories, feelings, experiences etc. We have so less time for our families and friends anyway, why should we be slaved by an artificial world when we are together for some time..
Yes! However, have you noticed that in some houses, even when guests are there, the hosting family is keen on watching TV serials, so they don't "miss out" anything? So much is our addiction for electronics - we need something or the other to provide us entertainment - we believe our times could not be spent any better than watching a plastic box with moving images.

Regarding the point about headphones - I do not think everyone will use a headphone to watch a movie! After all, what is watching a movie, without commenting about each sequence together and laughing (especially when watching a local language movie, with lot of herioism!).

Chauffeur driven cars are a perfect case for this. The whole family is free to do anything they want to. So they resort to the same old trash.

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Originally Posted by Viju View Post
Try telling that to a 3 year old who is not sleepy and wants to watch his / her favourite cartoon for a while on a 10 hour drive.
Children get addicted to such things faster than adults. The new generation believes this is the way to live - entertainment everywhere. It is better not to aid their addiction by getting more such things just for our peace of mind. There are several ways to creatively occupy kids!
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