The 3-point safety belt from Volvo – the most effective lifesaver in traffic for fifty years.
- The 3-point seatbelt was invented by Volvo in 1958
- Volvo releases patent to other vehicle makers
- The 3-point belt is standard on every car today
- It has saved more than a million lives
- Looking beyond the 3-point seatbelt
New York, NY (April 8, 2009) /PRNewswire/ — This year marks the 50th anniversary of the most important lifesaving device in automotive safety: the 3-point seatbelt. Patented in 1959, the 3-point safety belt has saved more than one million lives and was introduced in the Volvo Amazon (120) and PV 544 in the Nordic markets. Volvo thus became the first car maker in the world to equip its cars with 3-point safety belts as standard.
Invented by Volvo safety engineer, Nils Bohlin in 1958, the 3-point belt has played a central role for occupant protection in all Volvo’s cars since its introduction in 1959. Volvo offered standard fitted front-seat 3-point seatbelts in the US in 1963 and rear-seat 3-point belts in 1972. Recognizing the 3-point seatbelt's safety potential, Volvo Cars quickly released the patent so that other car manufacturers could offer the revolutionary design in their vehicles. Today, every modern car comes standard with 3-point seatbelts.
It is the safety belt’s ability to keep the occupant in the seat that is of crucial importance. All told, the belt reduces the risk of fatalities and serious injuries from collisions by about 50 percent. Seatbelt usage in the US reached its highest rate in 2008, with 83 percent of front-seat occupants buckling up.
Is it possible to improve upon perfection? The answer is that Volvo will never stop advancing vehicle safety. Today, the 3-point seatbelt is just one component of a much larger safety system within the car. Multiple grades of energy absorbing steel alloys, intelligent airbags, electronic vehicle stability systems, Roll Stability Control (RSC) and low-speed accident avoidance systems such as City Safety all work together to help prevent or mitigate a collision. Volvo recently showed a concept of a 4-point seatbelt and while this design has some advantages over the current 3-point belt, issues concerning usage rates and body attachment points for the 4th belt are still being discussed. For now, the 3-point seatbelt remains the most important safety device in the car's 120-year history.
More information is available at www.volvocars-pr.com.