"Brace Yourself"?

"Brace Yourself"?

Author
Discussion

Howaboutthis

Original Poster:

120 posts

22 months

Monday 16th March
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So, say you were a passenger or driver in a car that was going to crash, how best to brace yourself? Feet against the firewall or tucked back, hands and arms against your chest maybe? Of course, in Oz there is the "Crikey Bar" on the passenger dashboard. Anyway, just wondering. Not long ago I was a passenger in a left hand drive vintage car with no seatbelt or head restraint, so I just held on with my buttocks.

meatballs

1,014 posts

20 months

Monday 16th March
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Pretension seat belt if your car doesn't have this feature built in.

Howaboutthis

Original Poster:

120 posts

22 months

Tuesday 17th March
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Thanks, not sure I know how to pretension a seat belt? It's certainly not built in to my car.

Demelitia

355 posts

16 months

Tuesday 17th March
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One thing I’ve had mentioned a couple of times by trainers on first aid courses, and a couple of paramedics I know is to always keep your pockets, if wearing a hoody or jacket with them on, empty.
A bunch of keys in a pocket against your stomach makes quite a good meat tenderiser when combined with a crash and a seatbelt.
To add on to that, where possible, try not driving about needing a pee. Apparently damaged bladders have been known as a result of holding it in.
I’d be keeping my arms against the lower part of my ribs, or down either side of my legs to avoid getting punched in my own face by my hands when the airbag goes off. Legs bent if possible, preferably not against any hard object.
Headrest at the right height to prevent whiplash as much as possible.

untakenname

3,275 posts

152 months

Tuesday 17th March
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Slide the chair back as far it will go to limit cabin intrusion and make sure there's nothing lose around in the cabin that may turn into a projectile.

66mpg

513 posts

67 months

Tuesday 17th March
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Is this the Advanced Driving thread or the Advanced Crashing thread?

waremark

2,710 posts

173 months

Tuesday 17th March
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Feet drawn back, knees sideways, nothing rigid

Howaboutthis

Original Poster:

120 posts

22 months

Tuesday 17th March
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I often think I ought to spit out my gum before having an advanced crash. Sorry, incident.

meatballs

1,014 posts

20 months

Tuesday 17th March
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Howaboutthis said:
Thanks, not sure I know how to pretension a seat belt? It's certainly not built in to my car.
Tug it hard, and I guess you'd have to lean into it a bit to maintain the tension and gain the benefits. It's not something I would imagine would be very intuitive before a crash though...

untakenname

3,275 posts

152 months

Tuesday 17th March
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Lots of cars will automatically pretension the belt milliseconds before the airbag goes so tugging on the belt beforehand might in fact be counterproductive and could end up with broken collarbones if the slack is already removed.

howstuffworks said:
The pretensioner mechanism uses an explosive charge to drive a concealed piston when sensors detect the signature abrupt deceleration of an accident. The piston, in turn, rapidly drives the spool around which the fabric strap of a seatbelt is wrapped. That incredibly fast retraction of the belt fabric removes the slack from the belt instantly. This extra seatbelt "pre-" tension, moments prior to the full force of impact, pulls the bodies of the driver and front-seat passenger firmly into their seats. This positions them so as to receive the maximum protection benefit of the front airbags. It also helps prevent the unfortunate phenomenon car crash-ologists call "submarining." That's when the momentum caused by the crash jerks a victim's body under his or her lap belt and sends it careening forward below the dash.
Slowmo of the mechanism in action
https://youtu.be/6phdJWRi_vw?t=139

Falconer

299 posts

10 months

Thursday 19th March
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Demelitia said:
One thing I’ve had mentioned a couple of times by trainers on first aid courses, and a couple of paramedics I know is to always keep your pockets, if wearing a hoody or jacket with them on, empty.
A bunch of keys in a pocket against your stomach makes quite a good meat tenderiser when combined with a crash and a seatbelt.
To add on to that, where possible, try not driving about needing a pee. Apparently damaged bladders have been known as a result of holding it in.
I’d be keeping my arms against the lower part of my ribs, or down either side of my legs to avoid getting punched in my own face by my hands when the airbag goes off. Legs bent if possible, preferably not against any hard object.
Headrest at the right height to prevent whiplash as much as possible.
I’ll ditto that. I had a 30mph accident and the button on my shirt under the belt caused a cracked sternum.
My wife had a perfect bruise pattern of the seat belt on her.

Boosted LS1

19,463 posts

220 months

Thursday 19th March
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I'm pretty sure my old saab 9000 has explosive charges in the door pillar to pretension the seat belts. Not bad for 1998.

Demelitia

355 posts

16 months

Thursday 19th March
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waremark said:
Feet drawn back, knees sideways, nothing rigid
I beg your pardon?!

watchnut

800 posts

89 months

Thursday 19th March
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Best bet is to grab wheel, and either pull it towards you or push it away so that the driver who should have taken action earlier takes the worst of the impact.

Or if your really good (like me because I do this on average 2 to 3 times a day as a driving instructor) say something first to suggest action may be required, failing that use my brake pedal, and grab said wheel to take avoiding action

I'm fortunate in that people try to kill me several times a day....it's great for adrenaline rushes..... and I'm still here smile

Rotary Potato

61 posts

56 months

Friday 20th March
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I was unfortunate enough to be in this position when a friend lost control of his Mk2 Celica Supra at about 85mph probably about 15 years ago now.

The car in question was stripped out and so there was plenty of exposed pointy bits of metal in the cabin.

It was a deserted country road, and the back end stepped out on a sweeping left hand bend and didn't come back, we slid at about 90 degrees to the direction of travel (so broadside across the road), the front wheels mounted the nearside kerb and we went through a (very quiet) junction sideways and hit a Give Way sign just behind the driver's side front wheel. I'd guess we'd slowed down to somewhere around 60mph at this point. The Give Way sign did what it said on the tin, and gave way, coming clean out the ground. We spun round an unknown number of times and came to a stop facing roughly in the original direction of travel, half on and half off the road. We both walked away without a scratch on us.

My thought process through this was:

"He's brave, kicking the back end out at that sort of speed"
"S**t! That's not deliberate"
"We're going to crash - there's a junction up ahead"
"There's a lot of exposed metal in here"
I pulled my legs up to my chest (i.e. front of thigh to chest, feet on thigh support of seat - by my bum), wrapped my arms round my legs, and pushed my head between my knees.
When the car stopped, I was still in that position ... and still in one piece.

Not endorsing it as a good strategy, but in that particular scenario it did me OK. I walked away perfectly fine, and managed to learn from someone else's mistake, which is always preferable to learning from your own.

The car was totalled - my friend was due to be selling it the next day, and we'd gone out for "1 last drive" that night.

Dr Jekyll

20,599 posts

221 months

Friday 20th March
quotequote all
Rotary Potato said:
It was a deserted country road, and the back end stepped out on a sweeping left hand bend and didn't come back, we slid at about 90 degrees to the direction of travel (so broadside across the road), the front wheels mounted the nearside kerb and we went through a (very quiet) junction sideways and hit a Give Way sign just behind the driver's side front wheel. I'd guess we'd slowed down to somewhere around 60mph at this point. The Give Way sign did what it said on the tin, and gave way, coming clean out the ground. We spun round an unknown number of times and came to a stop facing roughly in the original direction of travel, half on and half off the road. We both walked away without a scratch on us.
clap

helix402

5,774 posts

142 months

Friday 20th March
quotequote all
Rotary Potato said:
I was unfortunate enough to be in this position when a friend lost control of his Mk2 Celica Supra at about 85mph probably about 15 years ago now.

The car in question was stripped out and so there was plenty of exposed pointy bits of metal in the cabin.

It was a deserted country road, and the back end stepped out on a sweeping left hand bend and didn't come back, we slid at about 90 degrees to the direction of travel (so broadside across the road), the front wheels mounted the nearside kerb and we went through a (very quiet) junction sideways and hit a Give Way sign just behind the driver's side front wheel. I'd guess we'd slowed down to somewhere around 60mph at this point. The Give Way sign did what it said on the tin, and gave way, coming clean out the ground. We spun round an unknown number of times and came to a stop facing roughly in the original direction of travel, half on and half off the road. We both walked away without a scratch on us.

My thought process through this was:

"He's brave, kicking the back end out at that sort of speed"
"S**t! That's not deliberate"
"We're going to crash - there's a junction up ahead"
"There's a lot of exposed metal in here"
I pulled my legs up to my chest (i.e. front of thigh to chest, feet on thigh support of seat - by my bum), wrapped my arms round my legs, and pushed my head between my knees.
When the car stopped, I was still in that position ... and still in one piece.

Not endorsing it as a good strategy, but in that particular scenario it did me OK. I walked away perfectly fine, and managed to learn from someone else's mistake, which is always preferable to learning from your own.

The car was totalled - my friend was due to be selling it the next day, and we'd gone out for "1 last drive" that night.
Don’t put your knees to your chest in a car with an airbag. Bad things will happen.

anonymous-user

14 months

Tuesday 24th March
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untakenname said:
Slide the chair back as far it will go to limit cabin intrusion and make sure there's nothing lose around in the cabin that may turn into a projectile.
Cool, with that much time on your hands, perhaps also have a flick through a first aid manual to be prepared?

Burnzyb

300 posts

137 months

Tuesday 24th March
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I’m pretty sure the rally drivers are taught to cross their arms across their chest.

I’d also not hold my feet against the bulk head, I know someone who was in a pretty horrific crash and badly bruised both his feet from this and iirc broke his leg.


helix402

5,774 posts

142 months

Tuesday 24th March
quotequote all
Burnzyb said:
I’m pretty sure the rally drivers are taught to cross their arms across their chest.

I’d also not hold my feet against the bulk head, I know someone who was in a pretty horrific crash and badly bruised both his feet from this and iirc broke his leg.
I wouldn’t do that in a car with an airbag. They are designed to work with hands in the correct position on the steering wheel.