A History Crash Course on Seat Belts

The seat belt was first invented in the late 1800s by an English Engineer named George Cayley to help stop pilots from falling out of their gliders. Although, the first "seat belt," or lap belt, wasn't patented until 1855 by American Edward J. Claghorn to keep visitors safe while traveling in New York taxis. However, seat belts weren't widely popular until the mid-1930s when U.S. Physicians started testing lap belts and saw how much potential they could have. After tests and studies, they finally pushed car manufacturers into adding lap belts into all their automobiles. 


It wasn't until 1959 until Volvo invented the three-point seat belt. Nils Bohlin, a Swedish inventor, created it, and he made this belt to protect both the upper and lower body. This invention is the same model that is used in almost all vehicles today. 


It wasn't long until American vehicles were required to have seat belts in 1966. Before, automobile companies offered seat belts as optional hardware, and people could even buy them at their local gas stations. By 1975 most first-world countries also had the seat belt requirements for their vehicles.


Even though all vehicles had to have a seat belt, people were still not required to use it. Many people would neglect it, which led to many fatalities in America. New York was the first state to require everyone to wear seat belts in 1984. However, it wasn't until 1995 that every state, excluding New Hampshire, had adopted the "Click it or Ticket" laws. 


Wearing a seat belt is highly important! It took almost an entire century for the seat belt to evolve and for policymakers to realize their importance. People saw vehicle crash fatality rates reduce thanks to the invention. 


Besides buckling up, there are other things you should do to help ensure your safety on the road too. You should bring your car in for regular check-ups to ensure everything is running smoothly. Maintenance services are especially stressed when your vehicle is approaching the 30,000, 60,000, or 90,000-mile mark. We invite you to give us a call at (503) 567-6496 or visit 3G's Automotive today.

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