Irfr

7 DECEMBER 1967 vot 127 No 3747

Edltor D.putv Edhol A!.lrr.d Edho? Faaturos Edltor

Sportt Edlior

Edhorlal

Mldland Edho:

Art Edhor Asshtrnl M.nchc.t r Offlcc

Spaclal Contr'rbutoB

M.nlglng Dlrastor

MAURICE A. sMITH. DfC PETEN 6ARNIER LEONARO AYTOIT STUART BISDON IT{NE8 IRELAND OEOFFREY HOWABD,

B S cl E ngl, AC C l, Gl M cchE

JOHN DAVEY GRAHAM ROBSON, MAlOxon, MABTIN LEWIS. MICHAEL SCARLETT WARREN ALLPORT

EDWABD EVES

HOWABD VYSE JOHN HAWKINS

HAROLD HOLT, AMIMI. AMAET

RONALD BARKER FOGER HUNTI NG7 oN, A,AE \ootfoh) EOIN YOUNG (Sport)

H. N. PntAUtX, rrrf,

MAIN FEATURES

page

BUNNING ASSESSMENT: VAUXHALL VlvA 90 2 CHBISTMAS GIFTS_2 6 TEST:VAUXHALLVICTORZOOO t3 WOMEN'S ANGLE-3 20 DATSUN BLUEBIRD 13OO AND 1600 2E LOOK OUTI 29 KNOW YOUR CAR No 6-BMC tlOO AND I3OO 32-33 DOWNTON ON TEST 36 SPR]NGBOK SERIES-3 iZ SPORTS CAR RAC]NG BYJOHN WYER 38

REGUTAR TTEMS DISCONNECTED JOTTINGS THE SPORT NEW PBODUCTS STRAIGHT FROM THE GRID PICWEEK NEWS AND VIEWS TRADE AND ]NDUSTRY CORRESPONDENCE NEW CAR PRICES Laet pagee before back cover

24 31 34 42 & 46 48 49

COVEB: Vauxhall Viva 90. Photography: Michael Cooper

ITEXT WEEK'S ISSUE FEATURES-P 52

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NEW TYPE OF LAMINATED GLASS

WE MAY be excused for "harping" on road accidents in recent weeks, for the motoring scene is at present coloured (discoloured, perhaps) by preventive measures such as the breathalyser and a multiplicity of speed limits. These, however, are aimed at reducing the number of accidents -whereas of equal importance is the protection of pas- sengers from serious injury in the substantially large num- ber of road accidents that are bound to occur still. Seven important protective measures are being scientifically in- vestigated and developed at present in this and other countries. among them seat'belts, of course, non-crush body structures, and now a new laminated safety glass windscreen material developed by Monsanto and the Trip- lex company. This, with a thicker plastic interlayer, provides greater flexibility with high impact absorption.

The time has come for us to follow the lead of other countries in insisting on laminated glass for all vehic- les---cven though it will cost a little more. We say this because we are now convinced that it would make a substantial contribution in reducing accident injuries. The question will be asked, "But why, if we're to wear safety harness, need we worry about glass?', The answer is first that many people will not wear belts unless they are made compulsory; second, that in all too many cases belts are used incorrectly, or adjusted too loosely, so that in an accident the wearers are likely to hit the windscreen anyway; and third, that with toughened glass a stone can cause complete shattering and obscurity, which_+ven despite the "zebra zone"-can be extremely dangerous in present-day, fast-m ovin g, h ig h-de nsity traffic.

The arguments put forward for toughened glass were that it was cheaper, and that if one hit it with one's head it knocked out before causing severe head injuries . . . but often the passengers were thrown out through the screen. lnvestigation into a significantly large number of accidents has since shown that the passengers are tar less seriously injured if they remain within the body shell, which can be designed to withstand impact safely. The big argument against laminated screens was that if they were thick enough to prevent the passengers being thrown out, severe head injuries or a broken neck could result; or if the occupants of the car survived these risks, they found themselves with heads through the screen and wearing horrible spiked collars.

This new material meets all the requirements-in that, on impact, it will bulge progressively with the minimum of splintering so that lacerations should be only superficial; and it will prevent passengers being thrown from the car. Nothing that we have said, however, reduces our conviction that seat-harnesses are the greatest single insurance against accident injuries. lf a properly worn harness is coupled with this new type of windscreen material and properly designed body structures, the chances of surviving major collisions, and escaping uninjured from lesser ones, are very high indeed.