Why don't trains have seat belts?

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TiggCJ

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Hello All,

Can anyone answer this question, why don't trains have safety belts fitted to seats?

Many thanks.
 
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TiggCJ

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But how would it be non-beneficial? I suppose there wouldn't be an easy way of monitoring if passengers were wearing them?
 

Bletchleyite

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But how would it be non-beneficial? I suppose there wouldn't be an easy way of monitoring if passengers were wearing them?

The main purpose of seat belts as designed originally was to prevent people being thrown from (and thus under) a vehicle. With trains this is achieved through strong bodies and laminated glass.

With aircraft, the purpose of seat belts has little if anything to do with collisions (other than potentially on the ground) and everything to do with not being thrown up during turbulence.
 

swt_passenger

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...and most trains have a fairly large standing allowance, whether it is used in capacity calculations or not.

The main point is it was investigated pretty thoroughly after the Ufton Nervet HST derailment, and the result was they they were not found to be necessary.
 

Cherry_Picker

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But how would it be non-beneficial? I suppose there wouldn't be an easy way of monitoring if passengers were wearing them?

Trains weigh about 40 tons a coach when they are empty, they tend to travel at 70, 100, 125 mph. A fully loaded Pendolino checks in at about 600 tons. They don't crash very often and when they do the forces involved tend to be so great that seatbelts are going to help much.

You've got no real way of enforcing passengers to wear seatbelts either. I'd imagine the biggest help they would be is if two trains collide at low speed in a platform or a train hits the buffer stops at a terminus, people get hurt then because they tend to be standing by the doors waiting to get off and are thrown to the floor. This happens so infrequently I couldn't even tell you whether it's a once a year, once in every five years or once in every ten years occurrence. Considering how many trains run every day without incident you are proposing an idea which might help in 0.00001% of journeys and help an even smaller percentage of passengers?
 

NSEFAN

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Neil Williams said:
The main purpose of seat belts as designed originally was to prevent people being thrown from (and thus under) a vehicle. With trains this is achieved through strong bodies and laminated glass.
It's also far easier for a car to go into a spin and end up off the road at a funny angle, whilst trains tend to stay upright in derailments. In the case of extreme derailments, seat belts won't be of much help anyway and might even make it harder for survivors to escape the wreckage.

TiggCJ said:
But how would it be non-beneficial? I suppose there wouldn't be an easy way of monitoring if passengers were wearing them?
Given it is perfectly normal to have standing passengers, seat belts would be rather pointless in the event of a derailment. And yes enforcement would be an issue, given passengers may wish to get up to go the shop/trolley/toilet or just to stretch their legs.
 

Bletchleyite

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Requiring all passengers on regional and commuter trains to be seated and wear belts would reduce capacity and thus send people onto the roads. I suspect the result of this would be more deaths/injuries. You have to look at the bigger picture.

9/11 was a prime example of not doing so. Many switched from flying to driving, and I recall the deaths and injuries that resulted from this far surpassed those that occurred on the day.
 

Oswyntail

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Safety design on the railways concentrates on "Primary Safety", essentially the avoidance of accidents. The environment is rigorously controlled, with the result that accidents are very few. There are, of course, elements of "Secondary Safety", which aims to protect people from the effects of accidents; crush zones and other factors in stock design. The overall result of this is a well-protected passenger, with there being little benefit in having seat belts.
On the roads,the environment is virtually uncontrollable, so there has been much more emphasis on Secondary Safety, with seat belts, SIPS, airbags and the like. Even systems such as collision warning systems, which some claim to be Primary, are little more than a recognition that accidents are inevitable.
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...hey don't crash very often and when they do the forces involved tend to be so great that seatbelts are going to help much. ...
In fact, with those forces, it is more likely the seatbelt would cause more severe damage than being flung about the carriage.
 
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