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Old 09-04-2013, 10:26 AM   #1
Buckle up to drive your Bimmer!
Bernie@Bimmerfest
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posted by Bernie@Bimmerfest



In an effort to keep motorists safe, Automakers may make us buckle up in order to driver their vehicles. After almost 40 years, the auto industry is once again looking into seat belt-ignition interlocks. What on earth is that? Well, simply, your car won't start unless your belt is buckled. But why?

Having motorists being able to drive without buckling up, means automakers have to design the interior of the car to protect them. This also requires crash testing, to see how occupants react when unbelted. Automakers are hoping that federal regulators will allow them to skip crash tests designed for unbelted motorists, if interlocks are used. The interlocks would ensure that seat belts were actually being used. BMW AG submitted a petition about skipping crash tests for the interlocks, but it was rejected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Quote:
In a notice denying BMW's request, NHTSA said, "Removing the protection offered to unbelted occupants would be unprecedented for NHTSA, considering unbelted crash test requirements date back to the 1970s." It said it wanted more information.
BMW's petition stated that hundreds of lives could be saved by increasing the use of seat belts. It also noted, that interior components needed to protect unbelted passengers could then be removed, since belted vehicle occupants would stay in place. The removal of items would make vehicles more spacious and lighter, therefore increasing fuel economy. Significant costs in production could also be saved.

Quote:
There are three different interlocks, BMW said, that could be used: One would bar a driver from starting the vehicle without a belt. Another would prevent a driver from shifting the vehicle out of park. A third would only allow the vehicle to be driven at low speeds without the driver wearing a seat belt. BMW said the third option could allow drivers to go to the mailbox "and would be the least annoying and most accepted type of interlock."
Research will have to be done, to come up with an undefeatable seat belt-ignition interlock. The 1974 models that had them, were easily fooled by clicking the belt and just leaving it behind you. This obviously wouldn't fly, if automakers want to solely rely on the seatbelt being properly used. We'll have to see what they come up with.

Quote:
"I will ask for research to examine opportunities for modifying certain regulations if there is 100 percent certainty that everyone is wearing a belt," he said. "This could provide manufacturers design flexibility and options to not only improve the margin of safety in a crash, but could also relieve regulatory burdens and save significant costs."
Any thoughts on the use of interlocks?

Read the full article from Detroit News here.

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Last edited by Bernie@Bimmerfest; 09-04-2013 at 10:33 AM..
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Old 09-04-2013, 01:14 PM
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cwsqbm cwsqbm is offline
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I hate interlocks. Its just one more thing to malfunction and strand you somewhere. Still, I don't think that NHTSA should include tests for unbelted occupants.
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