The present invention relates to a vehicle comprising an arrangement
for a safety-belt according to the preamble of claim 1. In particular, the main
application of the invention is in connection with safety-belts for motor vehicles.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION:
A vehicle according to the preamble of claim 1 is known from document
In vehicles, particularly in passenger cars, safety-belts are normally
used to secure those travelling in the vehicle. In a known manner, the safety-belts
add to the safety of those travelling in the vehicle. A common kind of safety-belt
is the so-called three-point belt which comprises a belt attached to a retracting
device which is normally arranged on the body of the vehicle, at the side of the
seats. The belt runs from the retracting device, across the torso of the passenger
or driver. Normally, at the level of the one shoulder of the passenger or the
driver, there is an upper belt guide through which the belt runs. The belt is fastened
by a locking means at an attachment point on the side of the driver or the passenger.
The belt also runs through a guide at this attachment point, and runs across the
waist of the driver or passenger. Finally, the belt is fixedly attached to the
floor of the vehicle on the opposite side of the driver or passenger relative
to the attachment point.
In terms of the function of the safety-belt, it is an important requirement
that the above mentioned upper belt guide is arranged so that the belt runs through
it at a point close to the shoulder part of the driver or passenger when sitting
in an upright position, i.e. with the backrest in an upright position. In this
way optimal protection can be obtained from the safety-belt in a possible collision.
The belt in this manner runs through the belt guide close to the shoulder of the
driver or passenger, across the chest of the driver or passenger, through another
belt guide at the lower attachment and guide point, and across the waist of the
driver or passenger towards the fixation point.
Although conventional seat belts of the three-point type provide
good protection in most normal situations they are somewhat inadequate in those
cases where the driver or passenger sits in a position somewhat different from
the normal, i.e. upright position, which has been described above. In particular,
conventional three-point belts do not provide optimal safety if a passenger wishes
to recline the backrest in order to rest or sleep when travelling in the vehicle.
This is particularly relevant for a passenger who sits in the passenger seat next
to the driver. If the backrest of the seat is reclined, the upper guide point of
the safety-belt will be at a point a long way in front of and above the shoulder
of the passenger. Thus, the safety-belt cannot provide optimal protection in case
of a collision.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION:
A main object of the present invention is thus to solve the above
mentioned problem and to provide an improved arrangement for a safety-belt, which
arrangement permits the use of safety-belts which maintain their protective function
even with the backrest reclined This is achieved by a vehicle of the kind mentioned
initially, the characteristics of which will become evident from claim 1.
DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES:
The invention will be described in greater detail in the following
with reference to the appended drawings, in which
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS:
- Fig. 1
- is a perspective view of a passenger compartment of a vehicle, which shows
an arrangement according to the present invention and the application thereof,
- Fig. 2
- is a somewhat enlarged view which shows the locking means according to Fig.
- Fig. 3
- is a side view of the arrangement in Fig. 1,
- Fig. 4
- is a detailed view of a locking means which is part of the present invention,
in an open position,
- Fig. 5
- is a view of the locking means in Fig. 4, in its locking position,
- Fig. 6
- is a cross-section of a locking shackle, which preferably is comprised in the
- Fig. 7
- is an enlarged view of a part of the locking shackle in Figs. 4 and 5, and
- Fig. 8
- is a cross-section along the line A-A in Fig. 6.
Fig. 1 shows a perspective view of a passenger compartment in a motor
vehicle, where the invention preferably can be applied. The drawing shows a vehicle
front seat 1 with a corresponding backrest 2. The backrest 2 is shown with dashed
lines in its normal position and with solid lines in a position somewhat reclined.
The vehicle is in a conventional manner equipped with a safety-belt
with a forward belt 3 arranged in connection with the front seat 1. The forward
belt 3 runs from an attachment 4 in the floor of the vehicle, via a lower guiding
point 5 and across an upper guiding point 6. The lower guiding point 5 consists
of a conventional belt lock through which the belt 3 runs. The belt lock 5 comprises
a locking tongue 7 which can be locked in a locking means 8. The locking means
8 is in turn fixedly attached to the floor of the vehicle.
At the upper guiding point 6 the forward belt 3 runs in a known manner
through an opening in a panel 9 in the side of the vehicle. The belt 3 is retracted
onto a (not shown) belt roll which is arranged behind the panel 9. In a known
manner, the belt roll is arranged to automatically retract the front belt 3 when
it is not in use. The upper guiding point 6 is arranged close to a point where
a passenger sitting upright has his one shoulder. From this it will become apparent
that the front belt 3 will provide optimal protection effect when the backrest
2 is in its upright position.
According to what has been described initially, there is in earlier
known arrangements a problem regarding insufficient protection from the safety
belt in those cases where the passenger in the seat 1 wishes to recline in order
to rest or to sleep, and for this reason reclines the backrest 2. In order to
solve this problem, the present invention comprises a special locking unit 10,
the construction and function of which will be described in more detail below.
The object of the locking unit 10 is to connect the front belt 3 with a rear belt
11, which in most passenger cars is arranged to be used by passengers in the back
According to the invention the rear belt 11 has the same principal
construction as the forward seat-belt 3, and comprises a second upper guiding point
12 and a second lower guiding point 13, where the latter also constitutes an attachment
for the rear belt 11. In a known manner, the rear belt 11 is attached to a (not
shown) rear belt roll by means of which it is automatically retracted when it is
not in use.
As can be seen in Fig. 2, the locking unit 10 is a separate component
which can be attached between the forward safety-belt 3 and the rear safety-belt
11. The forward belt 3 can be guided through the locking unit 10, while the rear
belt 11 is locked in the locking unit 10 by means of a rear belt lock 14, which
comprises a locking tongue 15 which can be fixed in a corresponding fixing means
16 in the locking unit 10. The fixing means 16 of the locking unit 10 is of the
same conventional kind as the above mentioned fixing means 8 and 13, respectively
and comprises a release button for the release of the locking tongue 14 when the
rear belt 11 is to be released.
Fig. 3 shows a side view of the arrangement according to the invention.
In the drawing, a passenger 17 is indicated by dashed lines. The passenger 17 has
positioned the backrest 2 to sleep or rest. In connection with this, the locking
unit 10, has been attached to the forward belt 3, and the rear belt 11 has thereafter
been fastened to the locking unit 10 as has been described above. The rear safety-belt
11 can thus no longer be used by somebody travelling in the back seat 18 of the
vehicle. Instead the rear belt 11 runs from the (not shown) rear belt roll at
the second upper guiding point 12 and forward to the locking unit 10. The rear
belt 11 further runs to its attachment 19 at the floor of the vehicle, where it
is fixedly attached.
From Fig. 3 it can be seen that the guiding point G of the front
belt 3 has been moved to a position immediately adjacent to the shoulder of the
The part of the rear belt 11 which runs forwards to the locking unit
10 here constitutes an "extension" of the front belt 3. Optimal protection effect
is in this way provided for the passenger even when he has the backrest 2 in a
non-upright position, since the belt will always adopt a correct position, regardless
of the angle of the backrest. In a possible collision the passenger 17 will be
protected just as safely as if he were sitting upright and were using the forward
belt in a conventional manner.
In order to further improve the safety, the front seat 1 is preferably
equipped with a protecting means 20 in order to prevent the passenger 17 from,
in the event of a collision, submarining under the front belt 3. The submarining
protector 20 is a pillow-like element which is arranged where the passenger 17
normally has his thighs. In this way, forward motion of the passenger in case of
sudden braking or a collision is prevented.
Fig. 4 shows the locking unit 10 according to the invention, in detail.
The locking unit 10 comprises a fixing means 16 of an essentially conventional
kind, arranged in a casing 17. In this way the belt lock 14 for the rear belt
11 can be locked in the locking unit 10 by moving it in the direction indicated
by arrows. In the drawing, the locking tongue of the belt lock 14 is shown in
the locking position with dashed lines. In a conventional manner, the fixing means
16 comprises a release button for the release of the belt lock 14 from the locking
When the locking tongue 15 has been locked, it is fixedly connected
to a locking element 18 which is shaped like a yoke with two protruding arms 19,
20. The locking element 18 is preferably made of metal. The first arm 19 comprises
an axial pin 21, about which a lock shackle 22 is rotatably arranged. There is
further provided a locking pin 23 in the lock shackle 22, substantially parallel
to the axial pin 21. The locking pin 23 can be moved in a slot 24 along the lock
shackle 22 and can assume an upper and a lower position. The lower position is
denoted by reference numeral 25. The locking pin 23 is moved towards the upper
position by means of a (not shown) spring element in the lock shackle 22. The
arrangement with the spring element will be described below, with reference to
Figs. 7 and 8. As will become apparent below, the locking pin 23 can be moved
towards the lower position 25 by means of a push-button 26.
The second arm 20 of the locking element 18 has an end section 27
which is essentially hook-shaped. When the locking unit 10 is to be used, i.e.
when the front belt 3 is to be locked in the locking unit 10, the front belt 3
is placed in the position shown in Fig. 4. In this position, the belt is in contact
with a rounded surface of a tube of hardened plastic which is part of the locking
element 18. Thereafter, the lock shackle 22 is rotated towards its locked position,
which is shown in Fig. 5. In so doing, the push-button 26 is depressed, so that
the locking pin 23 can pass the outermost tip of the end section 27 of the second
With reference to Fig. 5, the locking unit 10 is shown in its locked
position. From this it will become apparent that the locking pin 23 fixes the lock
shackle 22, since the locking pin 23 here is in its upper position behind the
hook-shaped end section 27 of the second arm 20. In this position, the belt 3 is
locked but still mobile, since the locking shackle 22 is not in direct contact
with the belt 3 so that it is locked.
Fig. 6 shows a cross-section of the principal construction of the
lock shackle 22. From the drawing it will become apparent that the lock shackle
22 comprises two side walls 28, 29 between which the locking pin 23 is arranged.
The push-button 26 is also arranged between the side walls 28, 29, and is connected
with a yoke-shaped part 30, by means of which the locking pin 23 can be manipulated.
The lock shackle 22 is surrounded by a housing 31.
When the passenger wishes to use the invention, the belt lock 14
is locked in the locking unit 10. The front belt 3 is then placed in the position
shown in Figs. 4 and 5. The lock shackle 22 is then swung into position, after
which the belt 3 runs around the lock shackle 22. In a possible collision, a strong
tractive force will influence the locking element 18, causing the two arms 19,
20 to strive to move towards each other, i.e. so that the angle between the arms
19, 20 will decrease. This, in turn, will cause the belt 3 to become trapped between
the arms 19, 20. In this way a secure locking of the belt 3 in the locking unit
10 is obtained in case of a collision.
Fig. 7 shows an enlarged side view of the upper part of the locking
shackle 22 and of the hook-shaped end section 27 of the locking element 18. The
lock shackle 22 is shown in its locking position, i.e. with a locked belt (cf Fig.
5). Fig. 8 further shows a cross-section along the line A-A of Fig. 7. According
to the embodiment shown in these drawings, the lock shackle 22 comprises two side
walls 28, 29 and a surrounding casing 31. The side walls 28, 29 are equipped with
one groove each 24, 32, along which the locking pin 23 can be moved. The locking
pin 23 is further prevented from being axially displaced out of the groove, since
it comprises end sections 33, 34 with a diameter which is somewhat larger than
the width of the groove 24, 32.
The locking pin 23 is biased towards an upper position in the grooves
24, 32 by means of a spring arrangement which comprises two springs 35, 36. One
end of each spring 35, 36 is in contact with its corresponding side wall 28, 29,
and the other end is in contact with the locking pin 23. Due to the spring force
from the springs 35, 36, the locking pin 23 strives to move upwards.
The locking pin 23 can be moved downwards by displacing the push-button
26 in the direction indicated with arrows in Figs. 7 and 8. The push-button 26
is in turn connected to a yoke-shaped element 30, the end sections of which are
arranged around the locking pin 23. The upper part of the housing 31 preferably
comprises a (not shown) groove or the like, so that the yoke 30 is maintained in
an essentially vertical position.
When the push-button 26 is depressed, the locking pin 23 moves downwards
in the direction of the force from the spring arrangement, so that the respective
springs 35, 36 are compressed. When the locking pin 23 is below the hook-shaped
end section 27, the lock shackle 22 can swing out to its open position, so that
a belt which has been locked in the locking unit 10 can be removed. In a similar
manner the push-button 26 can be depressed when the locking shackle 22 is to be
moved to its locking position.
The hook-shaped end section 27 and the springs 35, 36 can be shaped
so that the push-button does not need to be depressed when closing the lock shackle
22. Instead the locking pin 23 can be depressed when, during the closing of the
lock shackle 22, it comes into contact with the outside of the end section 27.
When the locking pin 23 has passed the lowest point of the end section 27, it will,
due to the force from the springs 35, 36, move up to its upper position. In this
manner, the locking shackle 22 can be closed without influencing the push-button
The invention is not limited to the described embodiments but can
be varied within the scope of the appended claims.