This year ERTICO Partner Volvo celebrates the 60th anniversary of the three-point seat belt, developed in 1059 by engineer Nils Bohlin. Although the design was patented, the company decided the patent was to be left open, making it available to all vehicle manufacturers to use for free. This rather unconventional decision was made in the greater interest of public safety, to ensure that everyone, independently of whether they drove a Volvo or not, could be safer in traffic. This decision proved to be very beneficial to the world. “There is no safety system that comes even close to the seat belt in terms of saving lives, and the three-point safety belt has protected more people in traffic accidents than any other safety device,” says Anna Wrige Berling.
A life-saving innovation – but not always used
In many parts of the world seat belt usage among heavy truck occupants is still far from 100%, unfortunately. “The Volvo Trucks Safety Report for 2017 showed that half of all truck drivers killed in traffic accidents would have survived if they had been wearing their seat belt,” explains Anna Wrige Berling. So what are the reasons it’s not used? Some truck drivers mistakenly believe that there is no need for a belt in a truck, due to the size of the vehicle. “The facts are clear: Using the belt is very important also in trucks. For example, in rollover accidents, the belt can help protect the driver from being jammed between the truck and the ground,” continues Anna Wrige Berling.
The Zero Accident vision
Volvo Trucks has a vision of zero accidents and believes that truck manufacturers, traffic authorities, infrastructure planners, other experts, and drivers around the world need to work together to achieve a safer traffic environment.
“We are sharing our traffic safety findings widely and have offered our knowledge and expertise to universities, research laboratories and partner organizations. Whenever traffic safety is discussed, we want to participate. This helps us learn even more about the issues, the potential solutions and how to design the trucks of the future,” concludes Anna Wrige Berling.
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Source and photo credits: Volvo Trucks