An Innovative Design to Retrofit Seatbelts in Motorcoaches

Prevention of passenger ejection from motor coach seats in the case of rollover and frontal crashes is critical for minimizing fatalities and injuries. This project proposed a novel concept of affordably retrofitting 3-point seat belts to protect passengers during these significant crash scenarios. Prior to this project, the available options involved replacement of either the entire fleet, which takes time to avoid extremely high costs, or all seats with new seats that have seat belts, which is still expensive. Alternatively, this project developed of an innovative product that can be installed in seat belt-ready bus structures at a fraction of the cost. The efficacy of the design was studied using finite element analysis (FEA) to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 210 standards for conditions involved in frontal and side impacts. Similarly, the design’s effectiveness in rollover scenarios was studied using dynamic loading conditions in MAthematical DYnamic MOdeling (MADYMO) simulation software. The results from FEA and dynamic simulation studies were subsequently utilized to optimize the design for safety and comfort, as well as ease of maintenance and cleaning. The many salient features of the design include an optimized shape to maximize leg comfort and conformance to and clearance with many various seat configurations; a sliding guide on the shoulder belt webbing to accommodate different heights of the passengers; a provision for padded damping to enable rear occupant protection along with belt retractor enclosure; and optimal location of anchor points close to the seat to enable easy buckling of seat belts and prevent slacking of seat belts during any crash.

  • Record URL:
  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This research was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Massachusetts, Amherst

    Amherst, MA  United States  01003

    New England University Transportation Center

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 40-279
    Cambridge, MA  United States  01239

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Krishnamurty, Sundar
  • Publication Date: 2018-3-26


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 17p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01701622
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: UMAR25-29
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC31
  • Created Date: Apr 9 2019 11:45AM