Seat belts helps save countless lives every year. They are the primary form of safety in the event of an accident, and is required by almost every state in the United States to be buckled in. Every vehicle (except buses) has seat belts in them, making it a common feature in a car. However, when was the seat belt invented?
In 1959, an engineer at Volvo named Nils Bohlin invented the three-point seat belt. This was during a time where driver wore harnesses instead of seat belts. They were fitted in cars and took the form of a two-point waist restraint. Sadly, the two-point system actually did more damage than good at times.
Once invented, Volvo released the patent to any manufacturer to use in their vehicle design. As a result, the three-point seat belt was widely adopted. Volvo did this because they saw that the three-point seat belt has more potential as a free life saving tool rather than something they can make a profit off of. Alan Dessel, Volvo’s managing director said: “The decision to release the three-point seat belt patent was visionary and in line with Volvo’s guiding principle of safety.”
Since 1959, when the three-point seat belt was invented, the system saved millions of lives across not just the United States, but the world. It also prevented serious injuries, unlike the old two-point seat belts.
Seat belts reduce your chance of injury or death by 50 percent in the event of an accident. As a result, this invention has become the most successful contribution to the safety in motor vehicles in history.
Seat belts are something we use each and every day on our commute to work, school, or simply to get gas. It is pretty evident why we should be strapped in every time we get behind the wheel or into someone else’s vehicle. Seat belts truly do save lives. They shield passengers from the serious injuries that can be incurred from airbags. They also aid in properly fastening the passengers of a vehicle so that they will not collide with other passengers or objects in the car in the event of a crash. Furthermore, they prevent the occupants of a vehicle from being projected from the vehicle if a collision is that severe.
If you look back in history, though, seat belts were not always used. Back in the day, automobiles were manufactured without any seat belts equipped inside. Drivers and passengers alike had to wish for the best and drive as carefully as possible. Of course, airbags were not always present in automobiles, either!
After some time, seat belts were invented. They were invented because it became clear that passengers should be fastened into their seat in some way when on the road. At first, the seat belts were simple lap belts. Over time, though, they became more advanced. Members of the medical profession urged the automotive industry to equip all vehicles with safety belts. In the year 1959, the car manufacturer Volvo became the first to produce cars fitted with the three-point lap and shoulder belts we have today.