Pregnancy brings with it some logistical challenges. When your body is in full bloom with a baby, everyday events like shaving your legs and tying your shoelaces become nearly impossible, and fastening a seat belt across your burgeoning belly no longer seems as safe or as comfortable. The average vehicle safety belt was clearly built with an adult male in mind, as it falls directly across an expecting mom’s baby bump, putting both mother and child at risk for injury should an accident occur. A UK company called Technological Systems hopes to provide pregnant women with a much safer, more accommodating alternative with the piXie Harness, the world’s first seat belt designed specifically for pregnant women.
The company is led by Managing Director and Inventor Stephen Weston, who has spent his working life in technical, problem-solving roles and has several patents to his name. Weston’s wife, Lesley, was the inspiration behind the piXie Harness, which he has spent the last seven years perfecting. After endless hours of crash-testing, Weston believes the product is finally ready for market, and he has taken to crowdfunding site CrowdCube.com to enlist the internet’s help in gathering capital.
The harness has been developed with the assistance of the Bolton Automotive and Aerospace Research Groups, (BAARG), based at Bolton University. BAARG is run by Professor Clive Chirwa, a world renowned expert on crash investigation, and the president of the European Commission’s Road Traffic Safety Authority and the editor of “Crash Test Worthiness” magazine. Similar to the harness you might see in a racing car, the piXie Harness fits over the passenger’s shoulders and around the torso, connecting in the middle just below the breast bone. The traditional strap is woven diagonally inside the harness, to anchor it to the seat. The result is a harness that prevents movement during an impact without cutting across the belly, which could injure the fetus.
The compact buckle used on the piXie Harness was developed and patented by Willans for use in high speed motorsport, and a version of it is even being used on the “Bloodhound” — 1000mph land-speed record car! “Whilst we know this is way over specification for use by pregnant mums, (we hope!), it allows us to comply with current ECE-16 regulations for road use and it gives us confidence that we are using the very best components to protect mother & baby,” write the creators on the official website. Interested? You can order one here.
via Daily Mail