IML: lap belts
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IML: lap belts

I drove my 1971 Lincoln Mark III across the San
Francisco Bay Bridge in 1996.  There was an Imperial
transmission in the trunk and I was returning from
Lowell's place.  

A novice driver watched a piece of paper float out her
window and locked all four wheels in the slow lane
from 55mph to go and retreive it to avoid littering.  

This bridge is effectively a freeway without any

The following 4 vehicles stopped in time with inches
to spare.  I was not able to do so and rammed vehicle
number 5, pushing everyone into each other like an

By the time I hit during hard braking, I was probably
doing 25 or 30, maybe a little less.  

The honda in front of me was measured by the CHP to be
11 inches shorter than when it left the factory due to
crumple zones that did their job.

My car had 2 bent bumper brackets - I re-used the

When I hit, my lap belt held me in place, I "barely"
leaned forward as the car decelerated, and my shoulder
blades were never more than 3 inches from the seat, so
the car didn't jar to a stop, it plowed into and
shoved forward the other cars.

Had I hit harder, it might have been different, but
I'd argue that the most likey situation in an accident
with another vehicle is that you'll hit a lighter car
and the mass of your car will push them out of the

Walls, oak trees, and other solid objects will be less
forgiving, but this is your classic car that you're
driving, and you can adjust for the absence of a
shoulder harness by leaving more room and otherwise
compensating for your comparatively poor brakes,
greater weight, greater stopping distance, and
old-fashioned tires, etc. with more space around you.

That's what I do, anyway...

Kenyon Wills

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