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Safety – a Never Ending Volvo Commitment 

 

1 March, 2005

 

 

A tagline in a Volvo ad from the past stated, "every year is a road safety year at Volvo".

 

And the safety history of Volvo Car Corporation proves that this is true. The track record includes some 75 ground-breaking safety innovations since the company was founded in 1927.

 

The Volvo Car Corporation has had a human-based philosophy already from the start.

 

The founders of Volvo, Assar Gabrielsson and Gustaf Larson, stated:  "Cars are driven by people – the guiding principle behind everything we make at Volvo, therefore, is and must remain – safety."

 

 

Safety cage and laminated windscreen

 

The safety cage and the laminated windscreen, both introduced in the Volvo PV 444 in the 1940’s were among the first important safety features in Volvo cars.

 

The most prominent of all the innovations is of course the three-point safety belt in 1959, considered to be one of the most life-saving technical innovations in the history of mankind.

 

The first rearward-facing child safety seat prototype was developed and tested back in 1964 (introduced 1972) and the Side Impact Protection System from 1991 are a couple of other classic examples.

 

 

Own Road Accident Research Team

 

In 1970, Volvo Cars established its own Road Traffic Accident Research Team to study and learn from accidents involving Volvo cars. The team has injected vital knowledge into Volvo’s research and development during its 35 years of operation.

 

In recent years, the development of new safety features has continued, including world firsts in the Volvo S80, Volvo XC90, the all-new Volvo S40 and Volvo V50.

 

 

Safety innovations year by year

 

Here is a complete list of all important safety features introduced during the history of Volvo Cars:

 

1940’s

 

1944 Safety cage

 

1944 Laminated windscreen

 

1950’s

 

1954 Defroster vents for windscreen

 

1956 Windscreen washers

 

1957 Anchor points for 2-point safety belts front

 

1958 Anchor points for 2-point safety belts rear

 

1959 3-point front safety belts standard

 

1960’s

 

1960 Padded instrument panel

 

1964 Disc brakes front

 

1964 First rearward-facing child safety seat prototype tested

 

1966 Rear windscreen defroster

 

1966 Disc brakes all around

 

1966 Dual split triangular braking system

 

1966 Crumple zones front and rear

 

1966 Safety door-locks

 

1967 Safety belt rear seats

 

1968 Head restraints front

 

1969 Interia reel safety belts

 

1969 Heated rear windscreen

 

1970’s

 

1971 Reminder safety belt

 

1972 3-point safety belts – rear

 

1972 Rearward-facing child safety seat

 

1972 Childproof locks on rear doors

 

1972 Warning lights (hazard)

 

1973 Side collision protection

 

1973 Collapsible steering wheel

 

1974 Energy absorbing bumpers

 

1974 Safe location of fuel tank

 

1974 Multistage impact absorbing steering column

 

1974 Bulb integrity sensor

 

1974 Headlight wiper/washer

 

1975 Day running lamps

 

1975 Braking system with stepped bore master cylinder

 

1978 Child safety booster cushion

 

1980’s

 

1982 "Anti-submarining" protection

 

1982 Fog lamps front

 

1982 Fog lamps rear                       [See the DSA page on the reprehensible lack of rear fog lights on cars in the USA]

 

1982 Warning lights in opened door

 

1982 Wide angle rear view mirror     [See the DSA page on blind spots and the safest way to set exterior mirrors, here]

 

1984 ABS anti-locking brakes

 

1985 ETC – Electronic Traction Control

 

1986 Brake lights in rear window

 

1986 Three-point safety belt centre rear seat

 

1987 Mechanical safety belt pre-tensioner

 

1987 Airbag – driver

 

1990’s

 

1990 Integrated child safety cushion in centre rear seat

 

1991 SIPS – Side Impact Protection System

 

1991 Automatic height adjusting safety belt

 

1992 Reinforced rear seats in estate models

 

1992 Passenger airbag front

 

1993 Three-point inertia-reel safety belts - all rear positions

 

1994 SIPS-bag, side airbag

 

1995 DSA – Dynamic Stability Assistance

 

1995 Integrated child safety cushion outer rear seats

 

1997 ROPS – Roll Over Protection System (C70)

 

1998 WHIPS – Whiplash Protection System                              [See DSA page on the Volvo WHIPS system, here]          

 

1998 IC – Inflatable Curtain

 

1998 STC – Stability and Traction Control

 

1998 DSTC – Dynamic Stability and Traction Control

 

1998 EBD – Electronic Brake Distribution

 

2000’s

 

2000 ISOFIX anchorages with rearward-facing child safety seat

 

2000 Dual Stage Airbag

 

2001 SCC – Volvo Safety Concept Car                       [See the Drive and Stay Alive editor's review of the SCC, here]          

 

2002 RSC – Roll Stability Control

 

2002 ROPS – Roll Over Protection System (XC90)

 

2002 New integrated child seat 2nd row (XC90)

 

2002 Lower Cross Member (XC90)

 

2002 New compatible front design (XC90)

 

2002 Safe 3rd row seats (XC90)

 

2002 New Front Structure (XC90)

 

2003 New Front Structure (S40, V50)            [See the DSA editor's pre-sales, test drive review of the Volvo S40 T5, here]

 

2003 IDIS – Intelligent Driver Information System

 

2004 BLIS – Blind Spot Information System  [See the DSA page on blind spots and the safest way to set exterior mirrors]

 

2004 Water repellent glass

 

Source: Volvo Car Corporation 

 

 

Related topics:  

     DSA article on the Volvo Safety Centre

     Sweden -- the Place Where Dummies Get Pregnant!