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Old 4th January 2013, 04:51   #16
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Default Airbags alone cannot save lives. Seat belts are equally important.

There is a misconception with many car users that it is fine not wearing a seat belt, as they are protected with airbags all around them (with front airbags, side airbags and in higher end vehicles even roof air bags). But unless you wear the seat belts, airbags cannot protect you from severe accidents. Because during accidents, airbags are activated with sensors at particular time intervals and these time intervals are fixed according to simulated accident conditions using Dummies. All of these dummies are simulated with seat belts on, as the seat belts ultimately help to give similar dummy dynamics during accidents and Airbag activation time is fixed according to these dummy movements. So no airbags can save you unless you wear seat belts.
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Old 4th January 2013, 12:02   #17
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Default Re: Airbags alone cannot save lives. Seat belts are equally important.

True. And this is why Airbags are marked as SRS (Secondary Restraint Systems). With the Primary Restraint System being seat-belts.
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Old 4th January 2013, 12:13   #18
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Default Re: Airbags alone cannot save lives. Seat belts are equally important.

They are part of a crash protection system and act together, even though their functions are distinctly different. Also, do read up on Seat Belt Pre-tensioners used in high end cars - this is triggered by the Airbag sensor.

* In a crash situation, the Seat Belt (with Pretensioner or without) prevents the driver / passenger from being thrown through the windshield, by restraining them in the seat (that is why the belt end mount and the buckle is at lap height).

The belt going diagonally across the torso, and then over the shoulder, is meant to restrain the torso from bending forward. A sports / racing car 4-point seat belt is better, because it prevents both shoulders from going forward. In a normal car, the 3-point seat belt suffices (lower speeds)

* The Airbag prevents injury to the driver / passenger by preventing the head from striking the steering wheel (if wearing seat belt). If one is not wearing seat belt, the driver / passenger would have, due to momentum of the body, crashed through the windshield - airbag or no airbag!

* The Pre-tensioner reduces the leeway (slack) in the belt by pulling the belt back as soon as a 'crash' is detected (it is a typical deceleration profile, not an absolute g value). This further prevents the upper torso from bending forward, reducing chances of a frontal injury

* The side airbags, if present, open if the crash movement is sideways / diagonal

The Airbag activation time is not set by research with dummies. The dummies are used to validate the effectiveness of the Airbag. The Activation Time was arrived at by manual calculation - a looong time back! It is never deliberately delayed (that is what 'set by research with dummies' would mean). It is, simply, ASAP - which is a couple of milliseconds actually.
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Old 4th January 2013, 12:22   #19
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Default Re: Airbags alone cannot save lives. Seat belts are equally important.

True, airbags were first introduced as a seat belt replacement in the 70s. But later on when they found out airbags alone wont provide the desired protection a Supplemental Restraint System(SRS) was developed. They integrated the seat belts and the airbags into a restraint system(the seat belt held the passenger in place) which proved to be quite effective.
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Old 4th January 2013, 17:12   #20
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Default Re: Airbags don't activate if you aren't wearing a seatbelt?

I have had first hand experience with the primary and supplementary restraint systems kicking in.

Slept on the wheel of a Nissan Altima and rammed into the tow hook of a Pajero driving in front. Both the Airbags deployed and the both the front seat belts loosened right after. I was alone in the car and i am never in the front row of a car without my seat belt on.

The 2 front airbags and both the front seat belts had to be replaced.

Seat belts and Airbags work together in crash situations, hence the primary and secondary/supplementary terminology.
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Old 4th January 2013, 17:18   #21
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Default Re: Airbags don't activate if you aren't wearing a seatbelt?

Lots of erudite replies. Thanks for sharing.
The good thing in the Skoda vehicles is the irritating Ding sound which repeats itself every few seconds at speeds of 20kmph and above, if one is not wearing a seatbelt.
My vehicle also has the provision of switching the front passenger airbag on and off by using the vehicle key.
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Old 4th January 2013, 19:14   #22
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Default Re: Airbags don't activate if you aren't wearing a seatbelt?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
Lots of erudite replies. Thanks for sharing.
The good thing in the Skoda vehicles is the irritating Ding sound which repeats itself every few seconds at speeds of 20kmph and above, if one is not wearing a seatbelt.
My vehicle also has the provision of switching the front passenger airbag on and off by using the vehicle key.
Shankar - Had this question for a long time. What is the use of switching off the airbag. I mean is there a practical use for it. We do not know when an accident would occur and at best, I for one will always leave the airbag "On".
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Old 4th January 2013, 19:30   #23
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Default Re: Airbags don't activate if you aren't wearing a seatbelt?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scopriobharath View Post
Shankar - Had this question for a long time. What is the use of switching off the airbag. I mean is there a practical use for it. We do not know when an accident would occur and at best, I for one will always leave the airbag "On".
There can be 2 answers to this:

1) If a child is sitting at the front, or

2) If you mostly travel alone or you are setting out for a long solo highway trip. It is better to switch it off as airbags itself are pretty expensive.

P.S: I just love the ding ding sound feature in my i20. It just makes it more easier to convince your co-passenger to wear the seat belt.

Last edited by Pancham : 4th January 2013 at 19:32.
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Old 4th January 2013, 19:34   #24
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Originally Posted by scopriobharath View Post
Shankar - Had this question for a long time. What is the use of switching off the airbag. I mean is there a practical use for it. We do not know when an accident would occur and at best, I for one will always leave the airbag "On".
Switching off the airbag via car key is only possible for passenger seat and not for driver seat. This is provided because you don't want the airbag to explode when a child is sitting in front passenger seat.

Having said that, I think Skoda should provide weight sensors in passenger seat to deactivate/activate passenger airbag. Here in USA, almost all new cars come with sensors in front passenger seat that either activates/deactivates the airbags based on weight load on passenger seat.

Last edited by Nitrous Power : 4th January 2013 at 19:47.
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Old 4th January 2013, 19:40   #25
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Default Re: Airbags don't activate if you aren't wearing a seatbelt?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scopriobharath View Post
Shankar - Had this question for a long time. What is the use of switching off the airbag. I mean is there a practical use for it. We do not know when an accident would occur and at best, I for one will always leave the airbag "On".
In case if the passenger seat is vacant, it may be a better idea to switch it off as the deployment of airbag damages the entire dashboard. Same goes if a child is occupying the front seat (which itself should be discouraged in the first place). I guess you cannot switch off the driver side airbag.

Last edited by Guna : 4th January 2013 at 19:41.
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Old 4th January 2013, 19:54   #26
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Default Re: Airbags don't activate if you aren't wearing a seatbelt?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scopriobharath View Post
Shankar - Had this question for a long time. What is the use of switching off the airbag. I mean is there a practical use for it. We do not know when an accident would occur and at best, I for one will always leave the airbag "On".
Ok let me answer this for you,in my vehicle there is a provision to switch off the passenger airbag,since i travel alone most of the times,i keep it switched off,and whenever there is a front passenger with me,which is like once or twice a week,i switch it on,and i had read somewhere,if you have a child seat mounted in passenger's place,you need to switch off the airbag,not sure as to how safe it is to have a toddler in front seat.

Also i have a query,in most of the vehicles its written "SRS airbag" on steering and dashboard,where as in mine,its written "Airbag"
Any difference?
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Old 5th January 2013, 11:32   #27
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Default Re: Airbags don't activate if you aren't wearing a seatbelt?

So far as wipers of Logan are concerned, it is only a cost saving idea. The wipers of Logan are indeed meant for LHD car.

It is not the first time. If you remember, good old Premier Padmini also had similar arrangement of wipers. Only in the last version before they stopped production they changed it to RHD configuration.

During light rain, particularly on highways, where rather than water one has to clear mud layer form the windshield, LHD configured wipers cause problem. Certain area in front of the driver remains uncleaned and dirty blocking the vision of on coming traffic.

Rear wipers are provided only on vehicles where the rear portion of the vehicle does not substantially project beyond the rear wheels. Small projection allows the mud and dust thrown up by the rear wheels to settle on the rear glass, cutting off the vision through RVM. In case of sedans, the projection of boot stops the dirt and mud getting thrown up. It rather deposits on the underside of car itself. This keeps the rear glass relatively clear of mud layer.
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Old 5th January 2013, 11:39   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay4587 View Post
Also i have a query,in most of the vehicles its written "SRS airbag" on steering and dashboard,where as in mine,its written "Airbag"
Any difference?
SRS means Supplementary Restraint System. This is nothing but the seatbelt system that pulls you back into the seat and holds you there in the event of a collision. You can check in your car manual to see if such a system exists in your car. My SX4 manual specified it clearly.
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Old 5th January 2013, 13:06   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scopriobharath View Post
Shankar - Had this question for a long time. What is the use of switching off the airbag. I mean is there a practical use for it. We do not know when an accident would occur and at best, I for one will always leave the airbag "On".
Even I don't understand the logic of switching off such an important safety feature. The safety of my wife who sits in the front seat is obviously of paramount importance so I would never switch that Airbag off. However this being India where large numbers of our truly 'uniquely gifted' people love to even leave on the plastic dust covers on their car upholstery, I would not find it amiss if many of these owners keep the airbags switched off to 'save' wear and tear.
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Old 5th January 2013, 13:41   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post

Even I don't understand the logic of switching off such an important safety feature. The safety of my wife who sits in the front seat is obviously of paramount importance so I would never switch that Airbag off. However this being India where large numbers of our truly 'uniquely gifted' people love to even leave on the plastic dust covers on their car upholstery, I would not find it amiss if many of these owners keep the airbags switched off to 'save' wear and tear.
one scenario which I can think of is when there is only the driver in the car traveling a long distance he can switch off the passenger airbag. it's activation would not be required in the above scenario
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