Volvo have long had a history of safety and reliability for their car range and safety is one of company’s core values.
In 1959, an engineer working for Volvo, Nils Bohlin invented the three point seat belt system, which is still in use today. It was made standard on the Volvo Amazon and PV540 and Volvo was one of the first manufacturers to make seat belts standard. At the time people were scared about the best way to be restrained in a motor vehicle. The feature of the three point safety belt is that it provides restraint for the upper and middle body. The other design feature is that it can easily fastened using one hand, and in one swift motion. Until then seat belts were only placed across people’s laps.
It did however take time for governments and manufacturers around the world to understand the safety benefits of using a seat belt, but it is standard now in all vehicles and most countries have laws which make seat belt use compulsory.
Following on with their safety record, Volvo established a safety research center in Gothenberg, Sweden around 15 years ago. It is one of the best in the world, allowing Volvo to create a range of accident scenarios and recording their results.
The center utilizes a series of tunnels, which sit on an air cushion and can be moved around at a variety of angles, simulate a variety of accident scenarios. Cars can be driven both ways along the tunnel, as well as exiting outside of the tunnel, enabling the engineers to create real world environments outside.
The crash area has a glass floor with cameras located, below and above the area and to the sides and inside of the cars. The crashes are filmed with special high speed cameras as a crash is over in a tenth of a second.
The research has resulted in air bag deployment and optimizing the coverage area for passengers. It would not be possible to with conducting the the crash tests. The research ensures that all of the Volvo car range are fitted with the latest safety equipment.