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An Invention That Stood The Test Of Time

A look into the history of seat belt and its effectiveness


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The three-point safety belt was a breakthrough invention from a Swedish engineer by the name of Nils Bohlin in 1959. The simple yet effective design offered passengers safety with minimal effort, and Nils innovative invention was first introduced and recognized by Volvo. For the benefit of others, Volvo decided to open up the patent to other car manufacturers. They believed it would have a more significant impact in saving the lives of car drivers instead of turning the invention into something profitable.


Over the years, it has managed to prevent both driver and passengers from being flung out of the car in the event of an accident. Research has shown that the invention dramatically reduces death fatalities and serious injuries by 45% and 50% respectively. While many people presume the airbag is the most effective in saving lives, the combination of both the seat belt and airbag proved to be the most effective. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seat belts have saved more than 15,000 lives each year in the United States alone.


As technology continues to advance and improve with time, the latest and greatest innovation can come at a cost that could be beyond the reach of regular consumers. However, it’s the simplest of inventions that could be the most effective and the case of the seat belts proved to be an example that has helped road users to stay safe on the road.


Why Volvo gave away the patent for their most important invention