The History Of Seat Belts

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Why wearing a Seat Belt is important while Driving ?

Many studies have proven that victims of a car crash are twice as likely to die if they have not worn a seatbelt. This is one of the main reasons why countries everywhere scrambled to make sure that wearing a seatbelt while driving was made a mandatory rule. Although many people automatically buckle in as soon as they get into a vehicle, it was only in 1983 that it was made into a compulsory law in the United Kingdom. As soon as the law came into being, there was a considerable drop in the number of fatal injuries reported as a result of vehicle accidents. Even now many people seem to disregard this rule and put their safety as well as others at risk by not wearing a seatbelt while traveling in a vehicle.

Why is it important to wear ?The Most Important Inventions To Save Lives

The seat belt was first invented by an innovative English engineer named George Cayley in the late 1800s. He invented these belts to help pilots stay inside their gliders while flying. However, Edward J. Claghorn developed the first patented seat belt to keep tourists safe while traveling in taxis in New York City. As time went by, manufacturers started placing seat belts in all their cars to enable the driver, and the passengers stay inside the car seats while traveling on the road. One must remember that the streets back then weren’t as smooth as those of today. Driving safety was not considered to be that important in those days.

Although the first car seat belt was invented in the late 1800s, it wasn’t until 1930s that US physicians understood their usage in lessening the impact of car crashes on the passengers in the vehicles involved in the car crashes. By 1954 it became mandatory for competing drivers belonging to the Sports Car Club of America to wear lap belts while participating in competitions. So, it was the race car driver who first started using seat belts to protect themselves from further injury in case of a crash.

Basic Things that IAS aspirants should know about the importance of Seatbelts

A significant breakthrough in the world of seat belts was seen in the year 1958 when the Swedish engineer names Nils Bohlin invented the 3-point seatbelt. This particular seat belt design helped offer better protection to the driver and the passengers and is used even today. In fact, the major automobile company Volvo credits Nils Bohlin with saving over 4 million lives with his innovative seat belt design. As people started realizing the benefits of wearing seatbelts while driving, their sales went through the roof. In fact, many auto companies even started selling them at local gas stations as optional equipment. According to the experts at, countries around the world began making it compulsory to wear seatbelts while traveling in a vehicle (except buses) by road. It is necessary for IAS aspirants studying at IAS Training Institutes to learn about the history of seatbelts and other such relevant topics. The civil exam aspirant needs to be knowledgeable on a wide variety of issues to crack the IAS exam successfully.

Seat belts were introduced in UK and the police said they would waste their time. Even civil servants were worried if old people would wear the seat belts. In early 1970, the government initiated a process wherein they were considering if seat belts are to be compulsorily worn in cars.

Many motor organizations in US along with the bureaucrats of Transport Ministry were concerned on how to make the drivers and the passengers wear the seat belts, as in US the arguments of civil liberties was highly considered.

The Road Safety Department of Malaysia brought in a mandate that any civil servants who does not wear seat belts should not be nominated for service or excellence awards.

Mr.Rajan, a Civil Service Exam Trainer with Chinmaya in India quoted that cars that are manufactured post 25th March, 1994 had front seat belts only. Then the mandate was initiated that seat belts are required for rear seats also in 2002. The seat belts usage was implemented in every state and many states made it mandatory to wear seat belts at least for front seat passengers in 2002. For Old vehicles which had no seat belts, the rule was exempted. The main concern is now that this enforcement is very weak in most of the countries.

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