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Join Date: Apr 2007
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Dumb question? Why don't race cars have mandated airbags?

Just curious...

You need a

helmet
firesuit
hans device
rollcage
fuel cell
doctors clearance (?)
fire rated shoes
nomex
fire suppression...
crumple zones

But no airbags?

Wouldn't an airbag help?

Bo

Old 09-30-2015, 03:27 PM
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With a proper 5 or 6 point harness you are supposed to be properly restrained so any airbags would have small benefits. In normal car with a 3 point seat belt you will move about quite a bit in an accident.
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Old 09-30-2015, 03:52 PM
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We are seeing two different paths to survivability that are not really mix and match.
1. Race car with cage, harness, hans, containment seat, fire suppression.
2. Street car with 3pt belts, airbags, hardened passenger cabin, crumple zones to absorb energy.

They are really different ways to address safety and both are way more effective than cars from the 80s. A modern street car manages incidents at highway speeds pretty well but in a worst-case 130 mph wreck I would want the race car protection.
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Old 09-30-2015, 04:21 PM
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One thing to consider is that airbags require triggers to set them off, which I imagine involve detection of sudden changes in G force like you see in accidents. Ever see airbags go off in a minor accident? Bumping and minor accidents are common in racing, and the cars continue racing. Having airbags go off in the race could create quite a dangerous situation!

Scott
Old 09-30-2015, 05:07 PM
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Air bags assume your body moves forward enough to contact them whereas a harness prevents much of that? Dunno if the physics are right, just speculating.

Plus what Scott said?
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Old 09-30-2015, 05:09 PM
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Old 09-30-2015, 06:20 PM
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So do you guys racing Boxsters and 996s disconnect all your airbags when you put in a roll cage? Most of the interior pics I see still have them...

I suppose it makes sense that with a 5 point harness airbags may not help... But they probably wouldn't hurt. I would think the force they activate at could be adjusted to account for on track contact, no?

Pretty interesting...
Old 09-30-2015, 06:41 PM
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Ok - here we go.

They actually tested them in F1. The problem is race cars make multiple impacts in an accident.

A street car normally only has one impact.

Once the baq deploys it's used up. There is nothing for that 2nd impact. Or, a 3rd. Belts still work after the first impact.

Richard Newton
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Old 10-01-2015, 06:36 AM
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Seen a GT3 that had all 10 air bags fire off when the car tilted over 45 degrees during the excursion ride off the track.

I believe all the modern water pumpers act the same, PASM can't save them all.

I love my air cooled dinosaur

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Old 10-01-2015, 09:03 AM
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