Chronicling Volvos Safety Record

By: Correy Putton

Volvo has always been known to be the automaker producing the safest cars in the world. The automaker's motto, "Volvo for life" is attributed to the reliability and safety of their cars. Volvo's company symbol, (which could represent either the male symbol, the symbol of Mars or the metal related to the planet Mars, iron; in fact, the same symbol) actually refers to iron ore, and stands for "Rolling Strength."
Thanks to , here is a chronological list of the security features Volvo has implemented and continues to implement over the years in their cars:
&bull1944 Safety cage
&bull1944 Laminated windscreen
&bull1959 Three-point safety belts in the front
&bull1960 Padded dashboard
&bull1964 Prototype of the first rear-facing child safety seat
&bull1968 Head restraints in the front
&bull1969 Three-point, inertia-reel safety belts in the front
&bull1970 Establishment of the Volvo Accident Research Team
&bull1972 Three-point safety belts in the rear
&bull1972 Rear-facing child seat and childproof locks in the rear
&bull1973 Collapsible steering column
&bull1974 Energy-absorbent bumpers
&bull1974 Fuel tank located ahead of rear axle
&bull1978 Child booster seat
&bull1982 Anti-submarining protection in the front and rear seats
&bull1982 Wide-angle door mirrors
&bull1984 Anti-lock braking system
&bull1986 High-level brake light
&bull1986 Three-point safety belt in the centre rear seat
&bull1987 Driver airbag
&bull1990 Integrated child booster seat
&bull1991 SIPS (Side-Impact Protection System)
&bull1991 Automatic height adjustment of the front safety belts
&bull1993 Three-point, inertia-reel safety belts standard in all seats
&bull1994 Side airbags
&bull1997 Rollover Protection System (convertible models)
&bull1998 WHIPS (Whiplash Protection System)"reclines" the seat on impact to protect the spine and neck
&bull1998 Inflatable curtain
&bull2000 Volvo Cars Safety Centre in Gothenburg
&bull2000 ISOFIX attachment system for all child seats
&bull2000 Dual-stage inflation airbags
&bull2001 Volvo Safety Concept Car
&bull2002 Extended rollover protection system
&bull2002 Development of the virtual pregnant crash test dummy
&bull2002 Roll Stability Control
&bull2003 IDIS (Intelligent Driver Information System) delays non critical messages and or warnings
&bull2003 Rear seat belt reminders
&bull2003 New, patented, front-end structure reduces collision forces
&bull2003 Volvo's Traffic Accident Research Team in Bangkok
&bull2003 Four different grades of High Strength Steel used in body construction of the S40 model
&bull2003 Reinforced & dimentionalized B-pillars reduce the side impact from larger vehicles like SUVs
&bull2004 Water Repellent Glass
&bull2005 Door Mounted Inflatable Curtain (convertible model - C70)
&bull2006 BLIS (Blindspot Information System) warns of other vehicles in the car's blind spot
&bull2006 CWBS (Collision Warning with Brake Support) Preempts a possible collision, warns the driver and primes the brakes
&bull2006 ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control) maintains a set distance from the car in front
&bull2006 PAC (Park Assist Camera)
Being the foremost in automotive safety, what will Volvo come up next to make our driving experience worry-free? What innovations can we expect from their quality ? Perhaps a new anti-whiplash system in their cars' seat system, much like the one from Johnson Controls?
At the 2007 North American International Auto Show held recently in Detroit, Johnson Controls, a Detroit-based auto supplier introduced its "platinum rear-impact solution" - a high-tech seat system which aims to help cut whiplash-related injuries.

A new U.S. requirement is set to take effect on September 1, 2008 toughening anti-whiplash standards. According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, neck strains and sprains are the most serious injuries reported in 30-40 percent of auto insurance claims. Such injuries reportedly cost at least $7 billion a year in the United States.

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