1 August 2019
It is 60 years since Volvo engineer Nils Bohlin developed the modern three-point seat belt and Volvo Truck’s newly-appointed Traffic and Product Safety Director has marked the occasion with a call for truck drivers to use the life-saving device.
Anna Wrige has highlighted a 2017 safety report produced by Volvo which showed that half of all truck drivers killed in traffic accidents would have survived if they had been wearing their seat belt.
“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,” she said.
Although Mr Bohlin’s design was patented, the company decided the patent was to be left open, making it available to all vehicle manufacturers to use without charge. This rather unconventional decision was made in the greater interest of public safety, to ensure that everyone could benefit, Ms Wrige suggested.
She said that some truck drivers mistakenly believe that there is no need for a belt in a truck, due to the size of the vehicle, but they are mistaken.
“The facts are clear,” she went on. “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.”
For five years, Ms Wrige was part of the Volvo Trucks Accident Research Team which, since 1969, has investigated traffic accidents on site and compiled traffic safety data for use in future product development.