The Dynamic Difference
Premier is designed and tested to provide the highest level of safety for both belted and unbelted passengers. Premier has undergone the most rigorous testing in the transportation industry.
The Premier seat incorporates SafeGuard SmartFrame technology that features two seat-back structures with independent functions. The seat lap and shoulder belts attach to the inner structure that absorbs the crash energy transmitted by the pulling force from the belted passenger. The outer structure remains vertical and then yields to cushion and absorb the impact of the unbelted passenger in the seat behind.
Premier was developed to provide both three-point-belt protection and compartmentalized frontal protection for unbelted passengers.
Europe vs. North America
Without seat belt legislation in the United States to set the standard, seats have been introduced to meet standards established in the European Market.
Premier is tested and capable of meeting applicable sections of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) that apply to today’s North American vehicles, which include FMVSS 208, 209, 210, 213, 222 and 225 as well as Canadian federal regulations CMVSS 208, 209, 210.1, 210.2, 213.4 and 222.
Because seatbelts have traditionally been unavailable, usage rates on motorcoaches with belts in the U.S. have been low. Premier was developed with the understanding that even though seat belts are available, it is not guaranteed that passengers will use them.
Proven to Perform
To ensure the ultimate in passenger safety, it was necessary to address the issues associated with double loading from belted and unbelted passengers. Double loading refers to the force of the load put on the seat as the belted passenger is thrown forward while the unbelted passenger behind is thrown into the back of the seat.
In severe frontal collisions, if the seatback is too weak, it will fold with the belted passenger, eliminating compartmentalization for any unbelted passengers in the seat behind. If the seatback is too strong, it can create injuries for unbelted passengers. Any protection from compartmentalization is lost if that occupant is not wearing a seatbelt. This was a critical point in Premier’s development.
The side-by-side tests shown below demonstrate the differences between the single frame and dual frame seat technology in a laboratory setting representing a 30MPH frontal collision and deceleration pulse using anthropomorphic testing devices (ATDs).
Motorcoach Barrier Crash
Greyhound, who adopted Premier for its vehicles, commissioned a motorcoach barrier crash test at IMMI’s Center for Advanced Product Evaluation (CAPE).
The crash speed was 35 mph. The test speed was increased from the initial sled test since Inter-city motorcoaches typically are travelling at higher speeds; it was felt that it would be a representation of the most severe crash loads.
The test results show that Premier is capable of providing protection for belted and unbelted passengers even with these higher loads, which is not the case with single-frame seat designs.
ATD passengers placed in rows 4 through 12 were subject to the same crash forces. To replicate a real-life crash scenario, varied load configurations represented the diversity in a group of coach passengers. Belted ATDs occupy rows 4, 5, 8 and 9; unbelted in rows 6 and 10.
Seating Test Plan
Single frame seats were found in rows 4 through 6, and SmartFrame technology was found in rows 8 through 10. ATDs used represent 50th and 95th percentile male and 5th percentile female passengers. SmartFrame rows 11 and 12 represent a 12-month infant, 3-year old and 6-year old child.
Head Injury Criteria (HIC)
Results showed that in barrier crash testing, Premier provides a higher level of protection than single-frame seat designs. Premier performed more effectively in all seating positions, but the most significant difference between the seats was found in the unbelted positions. The unbelted 105-lb female ATD in the Premier seat remained within the compartment, and data from the test revealed that the ATD experienced head injury criteria (HIC) rating of 159. However, the same ATD in the single-frame seat experienced a HIC value of 1485.
Motorcoach Barrier Crash Test Results
Child and Infant Testing
Results from the injury data of the ATDs demonstrate that the Premier seat developed through analysis and testing would perform as designed in the actual motorcoach environment.
Over the past decade, twelve full barrier crash tests, more than two hundred sled tests and twenty rollover tests on buses have been conducted to gain a full understanding of bus occupant protection.
Together, American Seating and SafeGuard offer unsurpassed industry expertise and a patented, exclusive belted seat offering that revolutionizes motorcoach safety.