“Cars are driven by people. The guiding principle between everything we make at Volvo, therefore, is and must remain, safety” - Assar Gabrielsson and Gustav Larson 1927
Even so far back as almost 100 years ago, Volvo were committed to safety. In fact, so committed were they, that when one of their safety engineers invented the three-point safety belt for cars in 1959, they opened up the patent for free, to allow other manufacturers to use the system to help prevent further deaths.
They also used laminated ‘safety’ glass as standard in 1944, and were the company behind development of the first rear-facing child safety seat in 1964. A child’s booster seat followed in 1978. The history of Volvo is littered with safety innovations, and they remain to this day, committed to safety – it’s what they’re best-known for.
It goes deeper than having safe cars though – their dedicated crash laboratory regularly hosts safety crews (fire fighters, paramedics etc) for training, and thanks to the layout of the lab, they’re able to replicate pretty much any crash scenario, including a car taking a 30-metre nose-dive into the ground.
The Volvo Cars Safety Centre crash lab has been in use since 2000, and even today, remains one of the most advanced and innovative laboratories of its kind in the world. That’s a huge commitment from Volvo.
“Being committed to safety is not about passing a test or getting a safety rating. Our commitment to safety is about finding out how and why accidents and injuries occur and then developing the technology to help prevent them. We hope our pioneering work will inspire others to follow, our ambition to reduce road traffic casualties world wide” – Thomas Broberg, Safety Engineer at Volvo Cars.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Euro NCAP safety programme, it’s a voluntary car safety performance programme, that most manufacturers work to. It has become known as the industry standard for safety performance, and manufacturers work with the assessment team to improve their product’s safety.
Since 2009, every single Volvo model that has undergone Euro NCAP testing has achieved a five-star safety rating (the highest possible). It’s also worth noting that the second-generation Volvo V40 achieved the best test result of any car tested by Euro NCAP, and the redesigned XC60 received the highest score ever for adult occupant safety – 98%.
This fits entirely with Volvo’s aim of having zero deaths attributable to their cars over the coming years, that includes pedestrians as well as occupants. That’s a very bold statement to make, but it does fit with the ethos that Volvo is based upon, even going so far back as 1927.
When you read through the company history, there are a number of significant safety landmarks, some of which are Volvo innovation, and some that aren’t, but have been in use years before any other manufacturer even thought about it:
Safety cage (1944), front and rear crumple zones (1966), inertia reel seatbelts (1969), multi-stage impact absorbing steering column (1974), side impact protection system (1991), reinforced seating (1992) … the list just goes on.
Many of the integrated safety systems that we take for granted today, were at one time either non-existent, or expensive options, except for Volvo – once they had the technology available, it mainly came as standard, usually before other manufacturers.
If you’d like more information as to just how safe Volvo Cars are, or find out why they’re award winning, get in touch with one of our friendly professionals, and they’ll be able to give you all the information you want.