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Title: Seats
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Score: 3489
Posts: 3489
From: USA
Registered: 07/24/2008
Time spent: 51553 hours

(Date Posted:05/29/2014 6:26 PM)
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A well fitting and secure seat is of utmost importance in asoap box car.


A seat's purpose is to locate the driver properly so thathis or her sightline to the road is unimpeded, and access to the controls iscomfortably accessible. With a properly-positioned racing seat, a driver isable to concentrate on the driving task at hand without being distracted byhaving to keep the body's position in the seat or counteract the physicalforces that are generated in cornering and braking.

A vehicle's seatmust stay in place in the event of a crash, and poorly mounted seats can becomea liability when the worst-case scenario happens. A seat that moves in a crashcan put pressure on a partof the body that is ill-equipped to withstand the forces of a crash. The samegoes for the multi-point harnesses that racing seats are complemented with. Theanchorage points of the seat have to be strong enough to withstand the stressesof a crash and the forces and loads put on it by the body it contains during impact.


In motor sports where you spend more time in the car, a poorlyfitting seat means the driver expends more energy and becomes more fatigued tryingto stay planted using the arms and legs as bracing.   Afatigued driver can not perform to their optimum and they begin to makemistakes.  Mistakes in a race car notonly cost precious lap times, but they can easily become fatal.  So it is of utmost importance that the driveris comfortable in a properly fitting and supportive seat.


The typical gravity racer doesn’t spend that much time inthe seat, so we don’t normally need to worry about becoming fatigued.  However, in the event of an accident, improperbody and head support could lead to increased injury.  And if we are using our arms and legs in anattempt to stay planted in the seat, we also subject them to the possibilitiesof injury as a result of the loads from the body going through thoseextremities during impact.


In a typical racing car the driver is secured into the seatby the driver’s harness.  The seat gives100% support to the driver and keeps them in place.  In the event an impact is inevitable, racingdrivers are taught to let go of the steering wheel and to take their feet offthe pedals.


At that point, the seat and harness are all that aresupporting the driver during impact.


Why take your hands off the wheel and your feet off thepedals?  That’s simple.  In the event of an impact the forces goingthrough the steering column and into your arms are more then enough to breakand shatter your wrists and arm bones.


If the wheel is yanked out of your hands and rotates, it caneasily break fingers and thumbs.


Impact through the pedals and up the legs can causecompression fracturing and shattering of the leg bones and do severe damage to feetand ankles.


So having the driver detach themselves from the steeringwheel and the pedals means there is no way for them to try to brace theirfragile body for impact.  They remainlimp and relaxed and the harness keeps them safe and protected in their seat.


The forces of the body acting upon the seat during an impactcan go into the thousands of pounds. Therefore it is important that the seat be able to support that weightand keep the driver in place.  If theseat is able to break away or deform under the weight of the body during impact,the body can be thrown around inside the vehicle.  When this happens the body is susceptible tonumerous impacts and crushing blows inside the vehicle. 


Each of those impacts and blows can do damage to softtissue, break bones, and damage internal organs.  So it is important that the seat is strongenough to retain it’s shape and that it is securely mounted enough to remain inposition.


Mother Nature is a Mean, Evil Bitch

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From: USA
Time spent: 51553 hours

(Date Posted:11/10/2014 1:23 PM)

In this photo we see several things that will have severe negative results in the event of an impact.  The first is a total lack of anything supporting the driver's upper torso or lower back.  There is ONE cross bar on this driver's back that is going to be the impact point should this car come to a sudden stop while traveling backwards.

This car needs to have some sort of material - HEAVY sheet metal to help spread the load to a large area of the body should the car be involved in an incident.

The average soap box driver weighs in between 45 and 300 pounds.  The driver in this picture is probably around the 150 to 175 pound range.  Think about the force of an impact when that 150-175 pound body gets slammed back on that bar at 10 miles an hour - right in the center of his back.

What will that force be at 20 mph?  Or at 30 or 40mph?  At what point will the focus of that force on the spine be enough to separate cartilage and break bone in that concentrated area?

The next thing is the shoulder harness.  When the shoulder straps mount low on the chassis like this and come up over the shoulders, they can cause severe spinal compression even in a minor frontal impact, let alone in a violent impact or end over end situation.

In addition the way they are mounted there is nothing to keep them on the driver's shoulders in the event things get nasty.  Once they come off the driver's shoulders, there is then nothing but the lap belt keeping the driver in place.  And so the upper body is allowed to move about and be slammed into parts of the car.

This long mounting also allows the upper body to pendulum from side to side.  This allows the driver to fall to the side where the head and neck can impact the roll bar, or the ground.

The solution is simple. In addition to adding a proper seat to spread the load, this car needs one additional bar to go across behind the seat from the roll bar uprights.  This bar should be 3 to 4 inches below the top of the driver's shoulders. 

The shoulder harness straps should then be mounted to that bar.  This keeps the mounting point close to the body eliminating the spinal compression fear and keeps the driver from being able to fall to the side.  If properly mounted, this would also keep the shoulder straps on the driver's shoulders in the event the car begins to go end over end.

It has also been reported that this car is like a cactus inside with multiple sheet metal screws sticking into the driver's area of the car.  If this is the case, (and it appears to be so in this photo) that needs to be addressed and corrected!  ANY small sharp object like that inside the car can and will do serious harm in the event of a crash.  And if a driver does not have proper support from their seat and is not properly secured by their harness, the likely hood of these types of things doing serious injury to the driver as they are thrown around inside the car is very high.

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Mother Nature is a Mean, Evil Bitch

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