Seatbelt turns 50

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Updated Dec 14, 2009

A week ago today was the 50th anniversary of what Volvo is calling the “most important automotive safety device ever, the three-point seatbelt.” It was first used in a Volvo four-wheeler, a PV544 delivered in Karlstad, Sweden, five decades ago and today — because the company gave free use of its patent from the time of its first use to other manufacturers, and due to the belt’s obvious safety features — is standard equipment in most moving vehicles.

Of ongoing company safety efforts, Volvo Trucks’ traffic and product safety director Carl-Johan Almqvist had this to say in a press release: “We have safety belt reminders in our trucks, but ultimately it is the drivers themselves who must realize the risks they are taking when they drive without wearing the safety belt. Virtually our entire systematic safety approach is bypassed if the belt is not given the chance to hold the seat occupant securely in place during an accident. This applies equally if the driver is thrown around inside the cab or is thrown out of the cab if the truck rolls over.”

Safe hauling…

Photo courtesy Volvo Trucks North America