May 13, 2008

Aussie Dad Wants You To Pay $188 To Beta Test His Pregnant Seatbelt Adapter

tummy_shield.jpgTough call. The Tummy Shield was designed by an Australian dad, who spent years coming up with a way to prevent injuries to a fetus in the event a pregnant woman is in a car crash. An injury like the brain trauma his first daughter had when he and his pregnant wife were in a car crash.

It is a sit-on platform with a hook that's meant to hold the belt across a woman's thighs instead of across her belly. The Tummy Shield website says it has "undergone vigorous tests in some of Australia’s leading testing facilities, including crash tests at high speeds."

It's not like they're totally off base with this thing; studies show that up to 3% of women are in car accidents while pregnant, and even minor traumas can cause adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes.

Even though there's no studies on it, I'd really like to believe that the Tummy Shield works. I'd like to believe that all the time, effort and attention that didn't go into the rambling website, with its misspellings and unsourced, non-specific claims, went into making the Tummy Shield as safe and effective as it needs to be. But there's no way of knowing that, short of coughing up $188 for the thing and driving into a mailbox. And that, I don't want to find out.

Tummy Shield [tummyshield.com.au via jalopnik]

6 Comments

There is a similar product out in Europe, much cheaper though, and tested according to ECE R16.

http://zwergenland.at/Default.aspx?Mode=ShowItem&ItemId=1
(there are 4 pictures)

Great post dt. I've run across quite a few related inventions over the years and always wondered how they are able to sell these products in the US without proven testing.

I ran a related post (dt link included) featuring a collection of related seatbelt products. The manufactures were invited to provide crash test info and updates...we'll see what they have to say.

~ Dr.MOZ

I see femur fractures and pelvic fractures - seeing this seatbelt makes me a little nauseated. I think if a pregnant lady wears the seatbelt correctly (across the lap and under the belly) the possibility of abdominal injury would be less.

Yeah, nothing safer for a pregnant woman than a HOOK in front of her vajayjay. Where does THAT go in a crash?

Great invention, shame I didn't think about it first. I read tests report posted on the site, looks Comprehensive enough. How about the engineer credentials?? Impressive. Just one small observation to Dr.Moz; ADR (Australian Design Rule) is among the stringent in the world, I believe it exceeds US and most European countries. If it's ADR approved and considering the engineer credentials, I'm confident it will work. Chris

Hi Chris,

I think that many of us in the US would be comfortable with an ADR approval, but we're accustomed to seeing proof of the stringent testing listed somewhere outside of the manufacturer's website. This could be as simple as providing a link to ADR's website showing the product's safety certification...or posting the impressive engineer's name currently listed as "confidential".

They'll sell thousands of these in the US once they are able to show outside sources for the mentioned tests. We could use a product like Tummy Shileds in the US, so I'm rooting for them!

Dr.MOZ

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