Is it safer to wear seatbelts, or not?

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Elijah95

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I don’t. Period, my passengers are welcome to but the fact is unarmored MTVRs, 5 tons (unless you have a ROPS truck), and Deuces offer zero protection in a rollover and being strapped into your seat could very well lead to your demise. These trucks weren’t designed with safety of civilians in mind and soldiers were ordered to wear helmets at all times.

At one time, one of the leading causes of death to US armed forces was the M939 series trucks before ABS was adapted to them although proper air brake training would have mostly negated that issue.


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MTVR

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I will share that I am a retired cop, and I've been to countless collisions. My younger brother was an ALS (Advanced Life Support) paramedic, who also has been to countless collisions.

Neither one of us has ever seen someone die while properly wearing their seatbelt. Every single traffic fatality we've ever seen, was committing a seatbelt violation at the time of their death.

I'm not saying that it's impossible to die while properly wearing your seatbelt. Heck, it's possible to win the lottery, it's just extremely unlikely.

I have over the years heard a phobia of being "trapped by the seatbelt"...but I've never actually seen it happen.

What I have seen, is people die from entirely survivable crashes, because they weren't wearing their seatbelts. I've seen people that slowly suffocated to death because they were partially or fully ejected, and ended up under the vehicle. I've seen people that drowned because they ended up in the water and were injured too badly by the impact to get out of the vehicle. I've seen people that bled to death after having some portion of their body smeared off onto the pavement from being partially ejected. Horrible stuff.
 

Elijah95

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Oh for sure! It’s terrible, and in my civilian vehicles I don’t move until a belt is on; but these trucks are an entirely different animal. I’ve never worn and nor do I plan to wear a seat belt in one. I have better odds of survival throwing myself into the floorboard and becoming a star fish to avoid coming above the windshield line than I do rolling one and being stuck in the seat unable to avoid the cab top crushing me.

I know a guy in Florida that rolled his truck, the sole reason he lived was he was flung out and laying on the ground as the truck rolled airborn over him. Never touched him but the cab was utterly destroyed and had he been inside... well his story wouldn’t be told from his perspective anymore.



@simp5782 can be a major wealth of info here


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MTVR

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I’ve never worn and nor do I plan to wear a seat belt in one. I have better odds of survival throwing myself into the floorboard and becoming a star fish to avoid coming above the windshield line than I do rolling one and being stuck in the seat unable to avoid the cab top crushing me.
The problem with that theory, is that you don't get to decide where you go in a collision- that's all up to the physics involved, and if the physics involved are sufficient to cause injury, they are WAY beyond human speed and strength.

I know a guy in Florida that rolled his truck, the sole reason he lived was he was flung out...
Bingo- he didn't jump out intentionally- the truck flicked him like a booger, and he landed exactly where those forces put him- he literally had no role in his own survival.

...and laying on the ground as the truck rolled airborn over him.
Having a truck roll airborne over you, doesn't sound like the best plan to hang your hopes of survival on.
 

simp5782

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A rollover crash is an army truck is alot different than that of a rollover crash in a civilian truck. I have seen a few of the crashed 7 tons in person....the oshkosh cabs do hold up alot better than the older trucks. As I have seen first hand what a semi going 50mph can do to one and it didn't do too bad. This was a HEMTT cab of course so it has different reinforcements. A M939 ROPS would fair pretty well in a roll over as well. Hint as to why they have kidney protect seats. Harnesses and a massive overhead area with a cage inside.

7 tons in a roll over do not fair too well as evidence suggests.

Most accidents I understand are not going to be a rollover but corrective action is what will cause the rollover in my opinion which is why we have the thread of " hold the lane or avoid an accident" in the conversation section



A thread from a member shootiniron who perished in his M35A3 as you can see what was left of the cab.

The problem of a seat belt in the trucks is what you can hit while in the belt around the cab vs getting ejected if and when it goes over. Or the cab entirely being ejected from the vehicle.

evidence suggests one member may have survived his accident in a HEMTT had he been wearing a seat belt that would have kept him off the center console section during the impact. Maybe, maybe not.

Had I been wearing my seat belt when my truck rolled over I would have been beaten up severely by the ac unit and pinned in the cab off the ground. I was able to actually control my body in the cab when the truck rolled on its side.

High center of gravity vehicle that is prone to roll over I would suggest not wearing one unless it has a ROPS. Low center of gravity like a HEMTT i would suggest so. Unarmored LMTVs
Fair horribly in rollovers. Armored ones fair pretty good.

The measure of the accident and the outcome is your choice to hold the road or avoid it. Most big truck drivers perish trying to avoid hitting someone who did something stupid and went on down the road like nothing happened
 

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98G

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Most people who don't want to wear a seat belt are motivated by resentment that use is mandatory. They then justify not wearing one by saying its safer not to have one.

It isn't. The odds of being randomly flung clear without a seatbelt are far less than the odds of being ejected and squished.

The chances that you'll be able to throw yourself to the floorboard and cling there while forces are acting on a 25,000lb vehicle sufficient to fling it around are exactly zero.

I know of one instance where someone was trapped in a burning vehicle by a jammed seatbelt. She died. Her father won't wear a seatbelt ever. I don't blame him. The cops continually write him tickets for it. This is evil. (This is a single example, hardly statistically significant. For every one of these, there's a hundred thousand people alive because of seatbelts.)

I spent 15 years as a trauma nurse in an ICU. Seatbelt use would have kept about half of our patients from being injured at all.

Seatbelts are a good idea. Just because they are a good idea that absolutely does NOT justify laws mandating their use.
 

bachman502

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I would think your chances of living are higher wearing a seat belt vs not wearing one. Let’s say for example you are involved in a head on collision with your fmv. The vehicle that hit you was a lot smaller. Your chances of getting ejected out of the vehicle are pretty high. Due to physics, no one is strong enough to hang on to the steering wheel in this situation. Had you been wearing your seat belt, you would still be alive. But the smaller vehicle and their occupants would not have fared well. Just saying most accidents don’t involve a roll over.
 

MTVR

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They...justify not wearing one by saying its safer not to have one.
I will agree that people who don't want to wear seatbelts will reverse-engineer an argument to attempt to justify not wearing their seatbelt, but I believe that fear is almost always their primary motivation.

Sometimes they will cherry-pick freak incidents to try to bolster their bogus argument, but there aren't enough of those to go around, so more often what I see is stories that are simply made-up.

The odds of being randomly flung clear without a seatbelt are far less than the odds of being ejected and squished.

The chances that you'll be able to throw yourself to the floorboard and cling there while forces are acting on a 25,000lb vehicle sufficient to fling it around are exactly zero.

I know of one instance where someone was trapped in a burning vehicle by a jammed seatbelt. She died. (This is a single example, hardly statistically significant. For every one of these, there's a hundred thousand people alive because of seatbelts.)

I spent 15 years as a trauma nurse in an ICU. Seatbelt use would have kept about half of our patients from being injured at all.
Yup. You and I (and anyone else who has had to do this kind of stuff day in and day out for years), have seen this over, and over, and over...

Seatbelts are a good idea.
On that, we can agree...
 

Jbulach

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I’m a big fan of Darwinism. I keep my seatbelt across my lap but not buckled, just in case I feel I need it real fast...
 

MTVR

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I’m a big fan of Darwinism. I keep my seatbelt across my lap but not buckled, just in case I feel I need it real fast...
Lol.

You may be kidding, but for years I have seen people simulating wearing their seatbelt, sometimes driving with one hand, so that they can hold onto the seatbelt against the force of the retractor with the other hand.

Ironically, simulating wearing a seatbelt does not look nearly as much like actually wearing a seatbelt, as the fakers apparently think it does.

And then of course there are those who swerve all over the road grabbing for the seatbelt they're not wearing, whenever they spot a police officer, sometimes crashing in the process...
 

Elijah95

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I would think your chances of living are higher wearing a seat belt vs not wearing one. Let’s say for example you are involved in a head on collision with your fmv. The vehicle that hit you was a lot smaller. Your chances of getting ejected out of the vehicle are pretty high. Due to physics, no one is strong enough to hang on to the steering wheel in this situation. Had you been wearing your seat belt, you would still be alive. But the smaller vehicle and their occupants would not have fared well. Just saying most accidents don’t involve a roll over.
In direct response to this, both M939a2 and MTVR trucks sit abnormally high, with the M939a2 family sitting on 49’s and the MTVR 52’s, looking at basic physics you would be correct yet considering the sheer size of the tires and bumper height the likely hood of going over what you’re statistically most likely to hit, a civilian 2/4 door car relatively low to the ground, you’re most likely going over it at highway speeds anyways which will most certainly immediately flip your truck or flip it from trying to correct a damaged trucks trajectory, and if by some small chance you keep it upright there’s a good chance you’re going off-road and into a tree or pole in my area head on.

With rollover being MORE likely than not, I’ll continue to drive safely to mitigate the risk as much as possible, and take my chances with no belt in my MTVR. I’m not advising others to follow this practice, but I’m fully aware of the risks associated and side with Wes on this subject


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98G

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In direct response to this, both M939a2 and MTVR trucks sit abnormally high, with the M939a2 family sitting on 49’s and the MTVR 52’s, looking at basic physics you would be correct yet considering the sheer size of the tires and bumper height the likely hood of going over what you’re statistically most likely to hit, a civilian 2/4 door car relatively low to the ground, you’re most likely going over it at highway speeds anyways which will most certainly immediately flip your truck or flip it from trying to correct a damaged trucks trajectory, and if by some small chance you keep it upright there’s a good chance you’re going off-road and into a tree or pole in my area head on.

With rollover being MORE likely than not, I’ll continue to drive safely to mitigate the risk as much as possible, and take my chances with no belt in my MTVR. I’m not advising others to follow this practice, but I’m fully aware of the risks associated and side with Wes on this subject


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Why then, did the military require seat belt use by the driver and co-driver?

Surely the military had as good of data as we do. And surely the military has the same goal - preservation of life and function of the driver and co-driver.

Given the same data and goals, the same conclusions should be reached.
 

Elijah95

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@98G
You have a valid point as do I, but one thing to remember is the military will often take a stance of “a PT belt could have avoided the incident altogether!!!” Blanket coverage in attempt to release all liability from any situation. The same folks also continue to put 15w40 diesel oil in 2 stroke Detroit’s despite the accelerated wear associated with not using a straight weight oil mandatory for said engine because of blanket supply simplicity.

I guess we will have to agree to disagree. I’ve logged nearly 17,000 miles in my green iron and will continue to do so with this stance.


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juanprado

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I wear mine all the time. Period, no discussion on my part.

Having been T boned in a civilian vehicle that flipped on its side; I , my wife and my son in a car seat were fine. Friend in back not belted in suffered injuries. Not worth it not to do it.
 

98G

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The thing is, seat belts being safer or not is not a matter of opinion. It can be measured and a definitive answer arrived at.

First, you need a large sample size of crashes. Then you need to know what percentage of your total sample of drivers wear seatbelts. This provides your baseline. Then you divide the groups into fatalities and non fatalities. Compare percentages of seatbelt use between fatalities and total crashes and nonfatalities and total crashes. You'll quickly draw a conclusion. (You can do the same with injuries/noninjuries)

The argument is made above that these military vehicles are a different animal and data acquired from motor vehicles in general don't apply here. Valid point. What we need then is a large sample size of data specific to these vehicles. Presumably the military has that.

We unfortunately have a non-negligible sample size of fatalities in the MV hobbiest world where primary mechanism of injury is something that seatbelts are designed to prevent - flailed chest. This is caused by impact to the steering wheel.

Eli makes the argument above that the military is operating with different goals in mind - removal of liability. Possibly. Just like they are operating with different goals in mind on Eli's example of 15w40 in the Detroit 2 stroke. Our goal being maximum engine life and theirs being uniformity of maintenance fluid requirements.
 

doghead

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I’ve had a lot of friends die in accidents, but to my knowledge NONE of them died BECAUSE they were wearing a seatbelt.

Some of them clearly did die because they were NOT wearing their seatbelt.

My opinions of seatbelts, and mandatory use of them have strengthened as my age increases.


Anyone care to speculate why the military put seatbelts in military vehicles? Including the 7tons. Just for looks/conformity?
 

CMPPhil

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There is I believe a link to the actual military study of accidents, somewhere on this site. Any help on finding it?
I've read the study and it reinforces my 40+ years of wearing seat belts while driving my MVs. I'm also sure that some people will read the same study and be equally sure that not wearing seatbelts is the correct answer.

Side point my trucks are from WWII had to add seatbelts. Though they all have a Jesus handle on the floor of between the codrivers legs so the could hold on and keep from being splatter on the roof of the cab while driving on ruff terrain.

Interesting discussion, at the end of which I'll still be wearing my seatbelt and others will still not be wearing them. Oh bye the way I live in a state where they are not required for adults. But then again neither are motorcycle helmet, that's off topic for this discussion.

Cheers Phil
 
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