Seat belts save lives. Tens of thousands of vehicular accidents take place each year, and a high number of these result in death or serious bodily harm. More than half of the people who die in car accidents each year are not wearing seat belts. And that’s just talking about the civilian sector.
When it comes to troops, travelling in warzones on a variety of terrain types, dealing with potential projective attacks of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the need for seat belts becomes even more pressing. Both the likelihood of and risk from a crash, sudden stop, or other interruption are considerably greater for military vehicles than ordinary cars on the road. However, military seat belts aren’t always worn. For example, a study of the use of military seat belts by British Forces personnel in southern Iraq from December 2003 to January 2004 showed that, while 78% of recipients knew about mandatory seat belt requirements, actual seat belt usage was considerably lower than that.
Those findings doubled-down on the attempted educational efforts to get troops to buckle up. After all, troops may be bravely willing to put their lives on the line to protect people back home, but there’s no reason for them to do this needlessly.
There are a variety of seat belt types available. The oldest and simplest is a lap belt, featuring an adjustable strap which goes around the waist. These belts are rarely utilized as a primary seatbelt today, since they fail to restrain the torso, shoulders, head and neck of the wearer.
Sashes or shoulder belts are another single-strap design, which are rarely seen today due to their failure to protect wearers during impacts. The most common seat belt design seen today, at least in civilian vehicles, is the three-point seat belt. This combines the lap belt and shoulder belt to help spread out the energy of a moving body in the event of a crash.
The more secure option for military seat belts
A more secure design still is the four- and five-point harness, as it more firmly straps in their wearers for maximum resulting safety. In a five-point harness, the lap portion is connected to a belt between the legs, alongside two shoulder belts, in a total of five points of attachment to the seat. A four-point harness is similar, only without the strap between the legs.
Both designs offer unparalleled safety and support for their wearer. However, a five-point seat belt is preferable since it further prevents “submarining,” a phenomenon during frontal crashes which can cause abdominal solid and hollow organ injuries.
Creating a seat belt that will do its job is about a lot more than just choosing the right number of harnesses, however. For one thing, there are a plethora of relevant safety regulations and standards related to seat belts, such as ECE R16, FMVSS 209, and FAI related regulation. It is also important to acknowledge the unique requirements of troops who will be using the belts. For instance, seatbelts with retractors are recommended for crew members, such as drivers, commanders, and gunners. That is because they allow for more freedom of the upper torso and easy operation of on-board controls.
Military seat belts should comply with civil-oriented ECE regulation, but with two differences: rotary buckles (which are allowed by the FAI, but not by ECE R16) is preferable over push buttons due to being easier to operate by military personnel with equipment. Similarly, a single-action retractor which is not affected by the vehicle angle or road vibrations is preferable to a dual-action retractor as required in ECE R16 that can be locked unintentionally in the operational mode of combat vehicles.
Mobius’ military seat belts, which use four and five-point harnesses, comply not only with the ECE and FMVSS regulations but also with FAI standard for motor racing, such as Formula One. These are some of the strictest standards anywhere on the planet — guaranteeing that those who wear our seat belts are in good hands.
As with every other aspect of our designed products, Mobius uses restraints that will perform to optimal levels even after undergoing wear and tear in some of the harshest environments imaginable. Our custom-designed seat belts, military harnesses, and restraints are some of the most durable out there — making them a perfect fit for our high-end blast-resistant seating platform. They are also designed to be comfortable and ergonomic since a seat belt that does not meet this criteria is unlikely to be worn — and, therefore, able to do its job if and when the occasion calls for it.
Military seat belts and seats for every scenario
Mobius’ seating solutions are designed to fit a variety of requirements and applications. They can be fitted in vehicles such as MRAPs, Main Battle Tanks, Infantry Combat Vehicles, Armored Personnel Carriers, MPVs, Light Tactical Vehicles, and more. The seats, which can be installed using mountings on the wall, floor, or roof, are also designed to accommodate a range of military job types, including commanders, gunners, drivers and troops. The seats — and seat belts — are additionally designed to offer maximum protection for everyone from the lightest 5th percentile female to a heavyset 95th percentile male.
If you’re interested in learning more about our seat belts and the considerations we have taken in order to ensure that troops risking their lives have the best possible protection, or want to know how Mobius can implement its seating solutions in your military vehicles; adapting the seats, make sure to contact us.