The Safety Behind the Three-Point Seatbelt

July 31, 2014

Everyday millions of Americans wear seat belts to protect themselves in the event of an accident. Seat belts protect vehicle occupants from being ejected from the vehicle, which is one of the most injurious events that can happen to an individual during a crash. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belts saved 12,546 lives in 2010.

In Alabama, all front seat passengers are required to wear a seat belt by law. Additionally, all children under the age of 15 must be restrained by seat belt or child seat. Over the past couple of years, seat belt use has increased in the state. In 2010, more than 90 percent of vehicle occupants were wearing restraints in Alabama. However, there are still too many auto accidents that occur with occupants not wearing safety belts.

At Citrin Law Firm, we urge everyone to wear seat beat at all times, regardless of where you’re sitting in the vehicle. Countless studies have proven that wearing a seat belt reduces the odds of occupants sustaining critical and life-threatening injuries in car collisions.

If you or a loved one has been injured in vehicle crash due to the negligence of another, you may have grounds for legal action. Contact a Mobile car accident lawyer today to discuss your legal options.

For additional information about auto accident legal claims, fill out the Free Case Review form on this page.

History of the Three-Point Seat Belts

The three-point seat belt was invented more than 50 years ago and it is standard in most motor vehicles.  Prior to 1959, most automobiles were equipped with two-point seat belts. During those days, the only people who typically wore seat belts were race car drivers. Two-point seat belts strapped across the body, with a buckle placed over the abdomen. These types of seat belts often caused serious, life-threatening injuries in high-speed crashes.

In 1958, Volvo Car Corporation hired Nils Bohlin, who had designed ejector seats for Saab fighter airplanes in the 1950s. A relative of Volvo CEO, Gunnar Engelau had died in a car crash, which helped motivate the company to increase its safety measures. In 1959, Bolin invented the three-point seat belt, which was first introduced in the Volvo P544. The seat belts secured both the upper and lower body; its straps joined at hip level and buckled below the hip. In a collision, a three-point seat belt spreads out the energy of the moving body over the chest, pelvis, and shoulders.

In the interest of public safety, Volvo made the new seat belt design available to other manufacturers for free. Within five years, the seat belts were used in automobiles throughout Europe and the United States.

Contact a Mobile Car Accident Lawyer

While seat belts cannot prevent all injuries in an accident, they reduce the chances of vehicle occupants being fatally injured. At Citrin Law Firm, we understand that accidents still occur even when motorists operate their vehicles safely and follow traffic laws. If a negligent driver has caused you or a loved one to sustain injuries in a crash, contact us for a free legal consultation.

During your consultation, an attorney will advise you on your legal rights, options and the state’s statute of limitations. After reviewing your claim, the attorney will recommend the best course of action to pursue.

Our law firm provides legal services to the residents of Mobile, Baldwin County and the surrounding communities.

To speak with a member of our legal team about your accident, fill out the contact form on this page.

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