This article also appears in
Subscribe now »

LifeBelt prevents submarining

LifeBelt from Lifebelt Pty. Ltd. is a webbing strap placed in the seat base, just below the seating surface, which is continuous with the standard seatbelt and is loaded when the seatbelt loads. Its effect is to form a loop around the upper leg area which encloses the pelvis and prevents submarining. It can be located close to the seat surface and therefore engages very early compared to the seat pan, providing superior control of adult occupants. LifeBelt will be displayed at the SAE 2014 World Congress April 8-10 in Detroit. It was initially conceived in 1999 by two doctors in Australia who were involved in ER work on road trauma victims. Their enthusiasm brought together a working team who helped develop the concept to the point where it achieved the SAE-A Engineering Excellence Gold Award of 2010. The support of Autoliv, Futuris Automotive, and APV Safety has been invaluable to developing the concept to this stage. Testing has shown a substantial reduction in lumbar spine loads while providing improved restraint when compared to the typical seat pan. A new development is being tested to extend the effective range of LifeBelt for rear-seat occupants. (Booth 408)

Continue reading »