Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Total Cats: 0
A good writeup I found/saved for when people want to mix track/street safety.
Not my writing, grain of salt, etc. Hope this helps.
"Okay, I'm making this post in an attempt to save the OP or anyone else who wishes to install a harness, harness bar, or roll cage from ending up paralyzed or dead. I see improperly used and improperly installed equipment on a regualr basis, and it kills me to see people risking their lives and their passengers lives simply because they don't have the pertinent information.
You NEVER mount harnesses to the floor, period. What is keeping you from doing a face plant on the steering wheel/dash in a front end collision? The seatback? That seat would snap like a toothpick. Not only that, as you fly forward into the dash, and you will, in even a low speed accident, the harness is going to pull down on your shoulders and compress your spine causing a debilitating or fatal back injury.
Furthermore, harnesses, harness bars, and roll cages have no place in a street car, period.
DO NOT USE HARNESS BARS for safety equipment. Use a bolted or welded in roll cage. But you are putting your life on the line if you use a roll cage, or even a harness bar without wearing a helmet AT ALL TIMES in the car. I know of someone who was killed in a 25mph collision when he bumped his head on his harness bar.
DO NOT USE ROLL BARS/CAGES on the street. You should never get into a car that has any type of roll cage or roll bar in it unless you wear a helmet at all times. See above for a further explaination of why a helmet is necessary.
DO NOT USE 4 POINT HARNESSES. Use 5 or 6 point harnesses. The reason you submarine out of a 4 point harness is that your upper body does not lean forward and over the lap belt like it would with a 3 point. Thus, the g forces force your body out under the lap belt. The act of submarining out of a belt is going to seriously injure and potentially kill you, but once you've submarined out of the harness, you can also be ejected from the car. Also, if you have a 5 or 6 point harness and it works as it should, it decelerates your torso instantly in a frontal impact, but your head will continue moving forward. This will result in a debilitating or fatal neck injury or instantly fatal basular skull fracture. Oh and that front airbag, forget about it because you'll never reach it if the harness works. Never use a harness on the street, period.
Next, harnesses should only be mounted at shoulder level and mounted only to a welded or bolted in roll cage, period. Mounting to the floor, or rear seatbelt mounts, causes the harness to pull down on your shoulders and crush your spine when you are in a frontal impact, causing a debilitating or fatal back injury. Also, you will be hitting the steering wheel/dash with full force if you've bolted the harness to the floor. The only place I would say that it is remotely safe to use an improperly installed harness is the autocross. This is because collisions at autocross events are more than rare, so you would not be at much risk of using the harness as a safety restraint. But, injuries are still possible, at least you can now weigh the risks and make an informed decision as to whether or not you use this equipment in your car.
STREET CARS DO NOT USE AFTERMARTKET SEATS. Well, they don't when they have integral airbags in the seats. When you remove the seats with airbags, the airbag light comes on, and you have now DISABLED EVERY AIRBAG IN THE CAR. You have no more front, side, or curtain airbags. You have also put yourself in hot water with your insurance company by removing your factory safety equipment. If you or someone else is injured or killed in your vehicle, even if the accident is the other guy's fault, you are going to get sued.
I've had several people mention that 'race cars' use this type of safety equipment, but....
Also consider that accidents in race cars are NOT usually as severe as accidents on the street. Everyone is going the same direction on a race track, so no head on collisions. The track is lined with tire walls and barriers so that it is highly unlikely that you could hit a solid object like a tree. The track is set up so that collisions are deflected and cars can't deccelerate all at once. There should be no spot on a track where you can go head on into something and deccelerate intantly. On the street, the hazards and potential impacts are far greater in likelihood and severity than on a track.
Furthermore, The safety equipment used in 'race cars' is a system, period. You cannot pick and choose what equipment you want to use. No harness without a HANS, no HANS without a helmet, no cage without a helmet, the list keeps going in cirlces. YOU NEED EVERYTHING. Race car drivers do not piecemeal their safety equipment together.
The factory safety equipment is the best possible design for street use and is also a system. When you remove or change one piece, nothing else works like it should. It kills me to see people risking and losing their lives so that they can have some Race Inspired Cosmetic Enhancements on their cars.
If self preservation is at all alive within you, use your factory safety equipment AND ONLY YOUR FACTORY SAFETY EQUIPMENT on the street."
I would run Elise seats, which are meant to fold in an accident unlike fixed back race seats, with the stock 3 point and an airbag. If you can't stand the pillowcase get an NB Nardi wheel, it bolts and wires right up. You only get one chance on Earth before its back to oblivion forever, is it worth the risk? Depends who you ask I guess. Just my 2c.
Last edited by KanseiKat; 07-18-2016 at 05:43 AM.