The three-point seat belt celebrates its 50th birthday – make sure you use it

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the delivery of the first ever car with three-point seat belts. It was a Volvo PV544, delivered to a customer in Sweden. Three-point seat belt technology was invented by Volvo – but the patent covering the 3-point seat belt technology was immediately made free to use for all other manufacturers, meaning that virtually every vehicle on the road benefits from a little of Volvo’s legendary safety research.

Despite all the advances in car safety over the last 50 years, it is generally acknowledged that the single most important safety feature of any car is its three-point seat belts. Watch this human crash test dummy demonstrate how seat belts work (and imagine what would have happened if he hadn’t had one on):

It’s impossible to know how many lives the three-point seat belt has saved over the last 50 years, but safety experts believe it to be around one million – plus millions of injuries avoided. It is even harder to know why some people persist in letting their children travel without a seat belt.

I have personally experienced the life-saving power of a three-point seat belt. It upsets me deeply when I see people driving cars around with unbelted children in the back as it is so completely unecessary and dangerous.

I believe that allowing your children to travel without belting up is a form of parental negligence. I cannot understand why anyone would do it – collisions happen out of the blue and you will never be prepared for one. If your children ever remove their seat belts while driving, please:

  • Stop the car
  • Belt them up
  • Discipline and rebelt them if they undo their seat belts

It’s not just your children’s safety you have to worry about – unbelted people can be a danger to others, too. Unbelted bodies are thrown around uncontrollably in the event of a collision, as this video shows:

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