The $3.9M Lamborghini Veneno features a 6.5-liter, 12-cylinder engine. Working with a seven-speed transmission, it produces 750 HP and accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in just 2.8 seconds. (Source: Automobili Lamborghini)
Yes, a full 5 point harness would be best, but the trick is to get it to be self installing, sort of like an Ironman suit. You just sit down, and it wraps around you.
Problem is it can't be attached to the dash, floor, or roof, because those things can move relative to the passenger, in an accident. The only thing that can't, is the seat. So the wraps have to be part of the seat and come out of the seat.
If steering wheels reqiure too much mobility, then dump the steering wheel. With power steering, you could easily steer with two lever arms on either side, where to make a right turn you pull on the right one and push on the left one. If the arms are long enough to have sufficient leverage, you would still have a power loss backup. More easily made electric than the rotary system anyway. Then full body contact padding down the center would be very easy.
Oh. So more like a roller coaster restraint than a bumper car steering wheel. Now, that has potential. That would work a lot better than a steering wheel mounted padding that I was envisioning when you suggested it.
But, if it were to go that route, a full 5-point racing harness would probably do as well.
I understand why you would think that way, but the problem is that airbags actually are horrific in terms of decelerration profile. That is because they are not static. There is an explosive inflation velocity that makes them an accelerant if you come in contact too soon, and a rapid deflation velocity that make them viturally useless if you come in contact too late. A couple inches of padding do much, much better, all the time.
But you are correct that the important thing is to minimize distance from the person to the restraint. The dashboard is too far away. And if you take the easy path, which is where the airbags inflate, then you block view too much. So the trick is to have a restraint attached to the seat, that hinges up when you exit and enter, but comes down in contact with the chest, and provided a pad for the head to rest on when the head starts to approach the chest area.
Just how much padding (density, thickness, etc) is needed to duplicate the deacceleration profile of an airbag? I suspect it is more than 2 or 3 inches thick. Much more than that becomes an interference with driving.
Permanent padding has the exact same cushining capability of explosive airbags, except that they do not knock your hands off the steering wheel or break your neck, and the padding is still there through multiple impacts in a series. If the bag inflates on first fender bender contact, it won't be there when you then go out of control, off the road, and impact a tree.
Lets face it, airbags are terrible from a safety perspective, and are only useful in that they hide all accident concerns and preparations from the customer.
It is true they have greatly reduced air bag deaths by slowing the deployment explosion and moving children and infant seats to the back.
But the main thing is that has reduced air bag deaths is that vehicles now have switches for disabling them and dealers are allowed to disable them.
The real statistics for the deaths caused by airbags are unknown because the accident itself is almost always going to be blamed as the cause. And death caused by your hands being knocked off the steering wheel by the air bag deployment, at not counted at all.
Basically air bags are a horrendous mistake, in that well designed and used restrains make them totally unnecessary.
Not true. No car sold in the US gets better than 42 mpg, and most diesels are not even allowed to be sold here. The single most popular car in the world, the VW Polo is not allowed to be sold here. These cars are cleaner and safer, so the rules are obviously being rigged to prevent the sales of cars most people want, in preference to what car makers prefer to sell instead.
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