Without wishing to enter into a political argument raised by your correspondent Mr. G. C. Potter (October 1981 issue), I must refute the statement that “some Renault seat-belts do kill
be of their design”.
This is absolutely untrue.
What your correspondent may be remembering is a report upon an inquest some time ago, following the death of a passenger in a Renault car who had suffered internal inliaies as a result of “submarining” under the lap strap of the seat belt, during a frontal impact. This is a condition which can arise with any lap and diagonal seat belt configuration if the belt is incorrectly adjusted or tithe wearer’s seat is reclined.
Evidence presented at the inquest suggested that the seat belt had not been correctly adjusted at the tune of the an pact and the theory was put forward that this may have been due to the swinging link at the lower anchorage not having been pulled to the forward position. This was not proven, however, and the coroner did not find that this unfortunate fatality was attributable in any way to the design of the seat belt in question. It should be pointed out that the belt and its installation had been type approved by the authorities both in France and in Great Britain. Notwithstanding this, the Department of Transport have expressed the view that the swinging link type of anchorage does require some attention on the part of the user to ensure that the belt is properly adjusted when wom and a number of manufacturers — Renault was among the first — have consequently discontinued its use. I would emphasise. however, that imv scat belt configuration, properly worn, provides a very much higher degree of protection than no seat belt at all and to use isolated incidents of fatalities involving the wearing of seat belts in arguments to discredit their use can only be described as grossly irresponsible. Renault 1.1K Ltd., London TOIVO KAASIK