<font face="Comic Sans MS">I'd think without the improved harnesses, just having a cage in there won't help much at all... I'm thinking of putting a set of those in my little S truck with a cage of some sort. Need to do some interior mods to fit that ok though. One thing I don't get at all is why 4 and 5 point harnesses are currently not considered DOT legal. That's ridiculous. Ludicrous in fact. The public would hate not having the ability to lean over and play with the radio, the passengers or whatever other crap they might have in there. They seem to like being distracted from driving, thinking they're driving a phone booth or a hotel or something...
A good set of harnesses for the car would tack on about $400 for the cost of harnesses (actually that's the price you or I would pay from a store, I'm sure with all the power one of the big auto makers have, they could get a massive "group discount" type thing and probably wind up with a lot of them for very little money each). It wouldn't be too hard to design mounts for the harnesses into the design of the vehicle. After all they still have to design mounts for the 3 pt harnesses.
But none is all that good without the other... I mean the harnesses would be good but what good does it do if the passenger area/cab collapses on you, and what good is a cage since it'll keep the passenger area from collapsing but you'll get flung around more violently (since it won't collapse which would absorb quite a bit of energy) and whack your head on it if you're not in a good harness...
I don't think they need to bother with a study like that... Just look at the racing world.. Where else can you have a 15 to 20 car pileup at well over 100 miles/hour where everybody has about a 99% or higher chance of surviving? Just compare something like that to the current cars which people currently die a lot more often at far lower speeds. Just have to compare the ratios of # of racers vs racing accidents/deaths and # of regular road drivers vs regular deaths/accidents... [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif[/img] I bet we'll find that relatively the racers are safer due to better safety stuff/technology.
The only two things standing in the way of this are (as I see it) the public (won't like the space it takes up or the inconvenience of the harnesses) and the auto makers themselves. More complexity, etc. However, I bet they could add a cage in a vehicle at least a passenger area cage for $1000 to $1500 after initial setup of equipment, etc... That'd be an option that I can't see people possibly wanting to go without. The public seems to like things to make them "feel" safe, so it'd be hard to tell how they'd embrace something that would make them actually safe.
Only possible downside to it that I can think of is the drivers will become emboldened by the added safety equipment (the stupid ones anyhow) and take more risks, etc. I guess we could always find them and shoot them... [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/laugh.gif[/img] [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif[/img]</font>