How Do Seat Belts Keep You Safe?
The History of the Seat Belt
Back in the day, seat belts were not a concern. In fact, when cars were first brought onto the road, they were not even a thing! As the years went by, cars not only got faster and flashier and lighter (read – easier to crumple), they also increased in sheer numbers. More cars on the roads going at faster speeds meant one thing: more accidents, and more dangerous accidents at that.
It may surprise you to learn that the very first seat belt patent was issued in 1885 to one Edward Claghirn in New York. It was a far cry from the seat belts of today, though, as it was more of a harness to secure tourists to any moving object. Flash forward, then to the late 1950s when Volvo introduced the world to the first three-point seat belt. Invented in Sweden, it made its debut in 1959 and Volvos and has been the standard ever since.
By 1968, laws were changing. So much so that seat belts were now legally required to be included in every new automobile. However, not all states had a mandatory law for wearing them.
How Exactly do they Work?
A seat belts design and idea is fairly basic: to keep a person safely in place in the event of a crash. And safe means preventing them from being ejected or thrown at hazards. The seat belt reacts to body force and secures itself – and its passenger – securely in place. This means at all times, even when a vehicle stops abruptly but the person may be moving forward still! A sudden stop by a seat belt across the chest is safer than by hitting your head into a window. Worse still would be being fully thrown from the car.
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