Nils Bohlin, the Swedish inventor, and engineer responsible for the three-point seatbelt. Before 1959, only two-point lap belts were available in automobiles. The two-point belts were designed to be strapped across the body, with a buckle placed over the abdomen; in high-speed auto accidents, this arrangement had been known to at least cause serious internal injuries if not life-threatening. So, whether youíre restoring your old classic Volvo or finding a replacement for your new Volvo, check to see if our Volvo parts catalog has what youíre looking for.
Volvo Car Corporation hired Bohlin in 1958, to be their first chief safety engineer. By this point in his life, he had already designed ejector seats for Saab fighter airplanes. CEO of Volvo, Gunnar Engelau, had had a relative die in a car crash, which motivated him to increase the company's safety measures. The more elaborate four-point seatbelts, which he had designed previously for airplanes proved to be unrealistic when in a car.
Within a year, Bohlin developed what is known today as the three-point seatbelt, which was in turn added as a standard feature in Volvo cars starting in 1959. The new belts secured both the upper torso and lower abdomen. Its straps joined at the hip and buckled into what Bohlin called, ""an immovable anchorage point"" below the hip bone so that they keep the body safe in the event of a crash. According to Bohlin, "It was just a matter of finding a solution that was simple, effective and could be put on conveniently with one hand."
For the sake of safety, Volvo made Bohlin's new seatbelt design available to other car manufacturers free of charge. In 1968, it was made mandatory on all new American vehicles from that point, onwards. Since 1959, engineers have enhanced the three-point seatbelt, but the basic design remains true to Bohlin's original design. hen Bohlin dead in September 2002, Volvo estimated that the seatbelt had saved more than one million lives since it was introduction 40-year prior. In the U.S. alone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seatbelts save more than 11,000 lives each year.
Out of all the safety features Volvo has engineered, the seatbelt ranks among to highest when it comes to how many lives itís has been estimated it has saved. If youíre looking for a part to your Volvo, look no further than our Volvo parts catalog.