A History of the Modern Day Car


1886: The modern day car is born in the form of the , by German inventor .

1908: The , an affordable, manufactured car, was introduced – making driving an option for the general public.

Ford Model T


1930s: Only 30 years after cars were becoming accessible means of transport, physicists in the US started to plead with manufacturers to include lap belts, believing they would keep drivers safe on the road.

1956: Volvo was a forerunner in car safety and introduced 2-point cross-chest belts in their Swedish cars.

1958: Two years after the introduction of the seatbelt, today’s three-point belt was designed and patented by Volvo designer and engineer, Nils Bohlin.

1959: The US followed Sweden by introducing seatbelt anchors in all of their cars.

1963: The first British public service TV advertising campaign was aired, encouraging drivers to use their seatbelt.

1970s: The infamous ‘Clunk Click Every Trip’ campaign began in the UK and continued on the air until 1998.

1983: The law changed: It was now compulsory to wear a seatbelt in the front of a car.

Figures showed 90% of front-seat passengers began routinely wearing seat belts after it became compulsory.

Seat belt

Image: Volvo

1991: It became compulsory for passengers to belt up in the back seat. Figures showed an increase from 10% to 40% of backseat passengers wearing seatbelts

1993: The final ‘Clunk Click Every Trip’ aired in 1993, however, this final advert could be spotted on air right up until 1998.

1998: In 1998, campaigners turned their attention to back-seat passengers with this hard hitting advert:

2010: The popular TV campaign continues to this day, with the most recent advert being aired in 2010. In the same year Sussex Safer Roads commissioned this award winning advert in 2010, proving that the thought-provoking tactics started way back in 1973 are still massively successful today:

2013: UK Department for Transport (DfT) figures show the changing attitudes towards wearing a seatbelt. 81% of drivers consider it extremely unacceptable to not wear a seat belt in the front and 64% consider it extremely unacceptable to not wear one in the back.

It has been 30 years since the introduction of the seatbelt law and organisations across the country are keen to raise awareness of the necessity of a seatbelt. For example, road traffic experts, , are promoting a , sharing their experience of working with those who have been seriously injured in crashes and have had their lives saved by a seatbelt.

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