CAR SEAT BELT, INVENTION AND USE
A seat belt today is a mandatory security feature in any transport vehicle – cars, aircrafts, and other means of transportation. It keeps the driver and passenger safe during travel and especially in an event of collision.
But seat belt wasn’t invented until 1885 when Edward J. Claghorn applied on 10 February 1885 to patent his invention – the very seat belt – in the United States. This important item experienced evolution and developments, including by a U.S. Army General Benjamin Foulois who in 1911 introduced the seat belt to aircraft seats.
Back on land, in 1955 Roger W. Griswold and Hugh DeHaven patented a three-point seat belt for passenger cars. The 1955 model was further improved by Nils Bohlin, a mechanical engineer who had manufactured airplane seats.
It was Bohlin’s invention in 1959, refining the two-point belt to a three-point lap/shoulder belt, that has become a must-have security item we continue to see in modern cars.
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The three-point seat belt is widely recognized for its potentially lifesaving effect. In an event of collision where powerful impact occurs, the belt is able to keep a driver and passenger on their place, preventing a fatal throw through the windshield or an impact against the steering wheel or dashboard.
For its effectiveness, the three-point belt is clearly safer than the two-point belt, which only prevents passengers from being catapulted off the car. The two-point belt, however, cannot keep a passenger from possible injuries due to impact against the steering wheel or dashboard. In fact, the belt may even cause injuries to the spine and hips in a case of severe crash. A three-point belt, in contrary, holds the sudden movement and keep our body in place.
Therefore, always make sure you wear your safety belt anywhere you ride. Remember that it is there to protect you, whether as a driver or passenger. Also, always make sure that the belt is locked securely before you start driving.