Monday, 10 December 2018

Three decades of being belted

IT is 30 years since the introduction of the mandatory seatbelt law in Britain — and more than 50 years

IT is 30 years since the introduction of the mandatory seatbelt law in Britain — and more than 50 years since Volvo first developed the three-point seatbelt.

The Swedish carmaker continues its innovative safety technology and says it is working towards its Vision 2020: this is that nobody will be killed or seriously injured in or by a new Volvo by 2020.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of mandatory use of seatbelts for drivers and front-seat passengers, Volvo Car UK commissioned a survey into the British public’s views on vehicle safety.

This revealed that despite major steps in road safety technology, 60 per cent of those surveyed do not believe safety innovations can wipe out road traffic accidents in the near future.

The seatbelt law came into force on January 31, 1983 and it has been estimated this legislation has saved more than 60,000 lives since then.

The poll of 1,184 drivers also found:

lMany would welcome a range of safety innovations on vehicles, with more than a quarter of those polled saying they would like a car that drives itself

lMore than half would be happy to be driven by autopilot

l45 per cent would like to see pedestrian protection technology on all cars

lMore than half want all-round cameras fitted to vehicles

Interestingly, only a third of drivers believe speed limits on motorways should be increased because of these improved safety features.

Volvo was the first manufacturer to introduce its auto-braking City Safety system as standard across all cars in the all-new V40 range.

City Safety, a low-speed collision avoidance system, operates at speeds of up to 31mph on the V40, keeps an eye on traffic in front and automatically brakes if the driver fails to react in time when the vehicle in front slows down or stops — or if the car is approaching a stationary vehicle too fast.

Features such as pedestrian detection, where cars automatically brake when sensing pedestrians ahead, the world’s first pedestrian airbag and even autopilot convoy driving where cars link together to drive themselves in special motorway “road trains” are already being used or tested by Volvo and the manufacturer hopes to start rolling out this technology in the next few years.

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