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Marketing through Motorsports
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Having seen Travis's arm go out the window at Cog, I'm thinking about window nets. I'm not a car owner, so whether I'm in a car with them or not remains a question, but in the meantime I thought I'd ask:

How many accidents have the car doors opening in the course of the crash?

I can't remember any, but I'm a relative newcomer to the sport. Even in road racing I'm hard-pressed to recall any doors opening.

Here's the reason I ask: windows nets can be a pain to latch and release, but if the net is attached to the car door instead of the cage, then normal situations of getting in and out of the car wouldn't require a lot of effort. Open the door and the net is automatically out of the way.

You'd still want to be able to quickly release the net from inside in case a door jams shut.
 

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Mä meen vittu sinne!
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I am adamently opposed to window nets. In the Colorado Hill Climb Association we are required to either have window nets or arm restraints. Every rallyist in the club (~20) uses arm restraints. They function the same in terms of keeping your arm in and if you end up upside down and having to climb out the window of a burning car you don't have to bother with the nets. Ron Nelson's roll at Cog last year is a good example. They ended up in a ditch and both had to climb out the passenger window. I anticipate some will argue that properly attached window nets can be easily taken out, but I've seen a few rally cars with window nets and only one that I scrutinized much and it required the door to open to remove the nets. Arm restraints are easily dealt with. as the latch with your belts and thus unlatch with your belts.
 

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Some cars (including Subarus) don't have door frames around the top of the side windows.

Of those that do, they are not suitable for mounting window nets to. Ask Chris Whiteman to re-post his photos showing the windowframe around one side of his helmet and the roof/cage around the other. After his accident, I installed window nets, but made sure they attach to the cage at the top.
 

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I've had violent multiple rolls where my arm was flung out and trapped (albeit briefly but *firmly*) under the a-pillar and although it magically never broke it was an inflated football and purple for a month. At first I really wanted window nets. Then I sat in a car with them, and thought that breaking my arm would be worse than losing even a few seconds trying to get out from being upside down in a creek in the dark. That plus the vision thing made me forget my knee jerk reaction. Anyways, thought I'd share that.

BTW i would not attach them to the doors just ask nathalie at maine when we rolled her door was way open for the rest of the rally (just one anecdotal case of which I can recall many I have seen).
 

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You are not supposed to mount a window net EXCEPT to the cage--both top and bottom.

To do otherwise is silly.

Cheers.
 

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Mä meen vittu sinne!
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>You are not supposed to mount a window net in a rally car.
>
>To do otherwise is silly.

Had to edit you quote a little. Fact is that many things your "not supposed to do" end up getting done in rally cars either because it's the only option or it's the easiest. Your not supposed to build a "bad" roll cage but I see ones I wouldn't even consider riding in at every rally.
 

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don't cut
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I've never had the doors open, but I was stuck upside down, in the dark, with jammed doors and windows that wouldn't open. I'll let Alan speak for himself, but I for one am damn glad we didn't have nets. It would have added critical seconds to an already difficult escape. If I remember correctly, it took us 43 seconds to exit the car, and Alan and I aren't exactly rookies. Add in another five or ten seconds for nets, and then factor in that only the super fast guys get two minute start windows now, and you can see where this is heading. I'll take the risk of a broken arm to know that I can get out quicker.

Alternatively, we could all go to lexan windows. Not something I'd prefer, but it is a thought.

Dennis Martin
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920-432-4845
 

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What is probably a better solution than window nets is:

1. A seat with better head and shoulder restraints, to keep your head inside the car.

2. Arm restraints to keep your arms inside the car.
 

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>I've never had the doors open, but I was stuck upside down,
>in the dark, with jammed doors and windows that wouldn't open.
> I'll let Alan speak for himself, but I for one am damn glad
>we didn't have nets.

I second that thought. I see window nets as a major delay in escape time in a roll-over.

The open wheel vintage racers (which I will be become one of next year) are required to use arm restraints, so I was checking them out at the races this past weekend. I am thinking that I will try them out at Prescott. My only concern is how they will work if I get into another situation like I had at Wild West where I had to reconnect the driver's intercom on stage (twice!).

alan
 

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Marketing through Motorsports
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Arm Restraints

Arm restraints are much easier to schlep around in a codriver's bag than a window net.

Alan, if you decide to try them at Prescott, let me know. I'd like to see the process of attaching, the amount of mobility, etc.

Thanks, everyone, for responding!
 

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The people that are saying "I'd rather have a broken arm than spending an extra 10 seconds on my egress" are forgeting something very important....

That window net isn't just there to prevent you from breaking your arm, it's also there to prevent your car from traping your arm between the roof/a-pillar/b-pillar and the ground/tree/another car after a roll.

And if it takes you 10 seconds to undo a window net, you either don't know how to unlatch it or it's installed incorrectly. It takes me 1 second to undo mine.
 

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Me too. About 1 second normally, and about 2 seconds if upside down to unhook and remove the bar for easy egress.

I agree with Mike that head restraint seat and arm restraint would be a good alternative.
 

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>Shout?

The ambient noise level was pretty high on the intercom, so I was already talking very loud. On one stage (repeated twice), we had a serious dust intrusion problem. I was close to losing my voice that weekend and didn't get it fully back until the Wednesday after the rally.

In 2002, on a different variant of the same long stage, we lost the intercom, then the tire blew and the flapping remains tore a whole in the body shell and we had very serious dust intrusion problem. I was coughing up blood at the end of that stage.

I can shout if necessary, but I really prefer working intercoms.

alan
 

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Mä meen vittu sinne!
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M&R arm restraints have clips that can be undone to free an arm without undoing belts if needed. I've unclipped mine quickly to turn up the intercom. And the inside arm can usually be left looser. I don't disagree that properly mounted they are probably okay and can come out quickly. But what about when they are not. Or what about when your in a panic trying to get out of an upside down car. What's the TPP rating on your suit and what's a few seconds mean to that? That is where my opinion comes from.
 

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I was looking at the systems that attach to the lap belts and release when the lap belts are released.

Arm restraints are fire resistant. G-Force claims that they are made of the same material as used in their driving suits.

I have been cut up by window net hardware in accidents. I have also had to get out of a car with a small exit way (because of what we rolled over into) where the (unused) window nets got in the way exiting. That is why I don't like window nets.

alan
 

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don't cut
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>
>And if it takes you 10 seconds to undo a window net, you
>either don't know how to unlatch it or it's installed
>incorrectly. It takes me 1 second to undo mine.

Yup, and it takes me four seconds to get out of my car when on the wheels, and less than ten when it's on it's side or upside down. Yet that night it took us a whopping 43 seconds! Things that are really easy in the shop aren't so easy on stage. Things that are really easy right side up aren't so easy upside down (where the net would keep falling back over the window). Things that are really easy in good light aren't see easy when it's pitch black.

If you wanna put nets in your car, great. If you've practiced using them and are comfortable you can get out in any situation, good for you. But I'm not.

Rally, and any racing for that matter, is all about managing risks. There is always a tradeoff. I'm willing to trade the possibility of a mangled arm for the certainty that I can get out.

Dennis Martin
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920-432-4845
 

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RE: Arm Restraints

This is a good discussion and lots of my race team friends can get out of a window net within 3 seconds...they have timed themselves and one who did roll-over and on top of his roof with a fire starting within the car...he was able to get out within that amount of time...now if you are unconscious then EMT's would have the proper tools to get you out by cutting the window net if they had to....but after seeing what happen to the team several years ago at Laughlin...you need something a arm restraint or the window net to keep all limbs within the car...

Denise McMahon
 
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