How seatbelt started
8 July, 2017, 12:00 am
THE seatbelt might be one of the smallest parts of a car, but it’s one of the most important devices in saving a life during a car crash.
Many people don’t consider the important role the seatbelt plays when they strap this device on in a car. Many don’t even take the time to think of how this small device can save their lives and don’t bother strapping it on when getting in a vehicle.
It’s during accidents that people realise the important role the seatbelt plays on every day rides.
Today we will look back into history and read about the smart Swedish engineer Nils Bohlin who invented the three point lap and shoulder seatbelt that has become popular around the world today.
According to www.history.com before 1959, only two-point lap belts were available in automobiles; for the most part, the only people who regularly buckled up were race car drivers.
The two-point belts strapped across the body, with a buckle placed over the abdomen, and in high-speed crashes had been known to cause serious internal injuries.
It was in 1958, according to www.history.com that Volvo Car Corporation hired Bohlin, who had designed ejector seats for Saab fighter airplanes in the 1950s, to be the company’s first chief safety engineer. Bohlin had worked with the more elaborate four-point harnesses in airplanes, and knew that system would be untenable in an automobile.
According to the www.history.com in designing the new seat belt, he concentrated on providing a more effective method of protecting driver and passenger against the impact of the swift deceleration that occurred when a car crashed.
As described by www.history.com website just within a year, Bohlin had developed the three-point seatbelt, introduced in Volvo cars in 1959. The new belts secured both the upper and lower body; its straps joined at hip level and buckled into what Bohlin called “an immovable anchorage point” below the hip, so that they could hold the body safely in the event of a crash.