3-point safety belt turns 50 this year

3-point safety belt turns 50 this year

nils bohlin

The 3-point safety belt turns 50 years old in 2009 after first being fitted to a Volvo back in 1959.

It has been estimated safety belts have saved more than a million lives so far and they will continue to save over a hundred thousand lives a year.

The three point belt was invented by Volvo engineer Nils Bohlin and fitted to 1959 model PV544 and Amazon 120s sold in Nordic countries from that year.

If you are wearing a safety belt, your chances of surviving a collision improve by 50 percent. The three-point belt is and will remain the car’s most vital safety detail. However, even more lives could be saved if belt usage increased.

“What makes the three-point belt unique is that it improves safety for all types of occupants, in all types of accidents. In both the front and the rear seats. One often talks about the protective effect in head-on collisions, but the belt also helps prevent the car’s occupants from being thrown out of the car in a rollover, for instance,” says Hans Nyth, head of the Volvo Cars Safety Centre.

It is the safety belt’s ability to keep the occupant in the seat that is of crucial importance. A massive 75 percent of people thrown out of cars in accidents die in the process. All told, the belt reduces the risk of fatalities and serious injuries from collisions by about 50 percent.

It is impossible to put an exact figure on the number of lives the three-point belt has saved since the 1960s – there are no globally coordinated traffic-safety statistics. Estimates put the figure at just over a million lives. And many times that number have avoided serious injuries thanks to the safety belt.

In Europe, the safety belt is estimated to reduce road fatalities by 40 percent every year. Within the EU in 2005, an estimated 11,700 drivers survived road accidents specifically because they were wearing safety belts. The figure for Germany alone was 2000. Had these drivers not been using the belt, the number of fatalities in Germany that year would have doubled.

Corresponding estimates for the USA in 2004 show that safety belt use saved 15,200 lives and resulted in society saving 50 billion dollars in costs.

nils bohlin

The 3-point safety belt turns 50 years old in 2009 after first being fitted to a Volvo back in 1959.

It has been estimated safety belts have saved more than a million lives so far and they will continue to save over a hundred thousand lives a year.

The three point belt was invented by Volvo engineer Nils Bohlin and fitted to 1959 model PV544 and Amazon 120s sold in Nordic countries from that year.

If you are wearing a safety belt, your chances of surviving a collision improve by 50 percent. The three-point belt is and will remain the car’s most vital safety detail. However, even more lives could be saved if belt usage increased.

“What makes the three-point belt unique is that it improves safety for all types of occupants, in all types of accidents. In both the front and the rear seats. One often talks about the protective effect in head-on collisions, but the belt also helps prevent the car’s occupants from being thrown out of the car in a rollover, for instance,” says Hans Nyth, head of the Volvo Cars Safety Centre.

It is the safety belt’s ability to keep the occupant in the seat that is of crucial importance. A massive 75 percent of people thrown out of cars in accidents die in the process. All told, the belt reduces the risk of fatalities and serious injuries from collisions by about 50 percent.

It is impossible to put an exact figure on the number of lives the three-point belt has saved since the 1960s – there are no globally coordinated traffic-safety statistics. Estimates put the figure at just over a million lives. And many times that number have avoided serious injuries thanks to the safety belt.

In Europe, the safety belt is estimated to reduce road fatalities by 40 percent every year. Within the EU in 2005, an estimated 11,700 drivers survived road accidents specifically because they were wearing safety belts. The figure for Germany alone was 2000. Had these drivers not been using the belt, the number of fatalities in Germany that year would have doubled.

Corresponding estimates for the USA in 2004 show that safety belt use saved 15,200 lives and resulted in society saving 50 billion dollars in costs.

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