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Evolution of Car Safety

Here we'll show you the evolution of car safety. It cleverly documents the history of car safety features and will also take a look at future safety features which will be implemented in the coming years.

Volvo introduces the first three point seatbelt. It's still one of the most effective safety devices of all time.

Padded Dashboard

Another innovation from Volvo, introduces in an attempt to reduce face and chest injuries in crashes.

Anti Lock Brakes (ABS)

Jensen FF becomes the first production car to feature mechnical anti lock brakes, based on aircraft technology.

Seatbelt Legislation

Ruling passed that all cars sold in Britian must be fitted with front seatbelts.

Head Restraints

Volvo delivers another first, with front seat head restraints. These protect the head & neck in rear end crashes.

Electronic ABS

Mercedes moves the ABS game on by introducing an electronic system in its high end S Class.

Drivers Airbag

US make sold airbags in the seventies, but Mercedes is first to sell a modern Supplemental Restraint System (SRS)

Front Seatbelts

It becomes compulsory to wear front seatbelts in the UK. Over 90 per cent of British drivers immediately comply.

Rear Seatbelts

The latest round of seatbelt rules come into force - all cars sold in the UK must now be sold with rear seatbelts.

Side Impact Protection

Volvo combines side impact bars with seats on transverse rails to create its side impact protection system (SIPS)

Compulsory Rear Seatbelt

It becomes a legal requirement for seatbelts to be worn by rear seat passengers including adults.

Side Impact Airbag

Once again, Volvo is at the forefront of safety as it introduces side seat protection airbags in its 850 model to supplement its metal side impact bars

Electronic Stability Control

Mercedes, with the help of Bosch, becomes the first maker to use ESC, with the S Class again leading the way.

Knee airbag

Kia adds the first knee airbag to the sportage SUV, although this feature doesn't reach the UK until 2003 Avensis.

Euro NCAP Established

The first Euro NCAP meeting tkes place with the crash testing body's first results released a year later.

First Results

Euro NCAP begins testing. Volvo S40 comes top with four stars for adult occupant protection.

Active Head Restraints

A move on from the 1968 system, the more advanced head restraint first appears across Saab's model range.

First Full Marks

Renault Laguna is the first 5 star car, while Euro NCAP introduces the seatbelt reminder assessment.

Child Safety Rating

The saftey rating test is made even tougher by the introduction of the child protection rating.

Lane Departure

This first appears in Europe in Citroen C4, C5 & C6, and warns drivers when their car is moving out of a lane.

Pop Up Bonnet

Developed to lower the risk of injuries for pedestrians when hit by a car. First available on the Jaguar XK and Citroen C6.

Blind Spot Monitoring

Volvo S80 saloon offers a visual alert to notify drivers of vehicles in their blind spots.

Autonomous Braking

Introduced into the Volvo XC60 in 2008. The system senses stationary traffic, warns drivers and primes the brakes to stop.

More Tests Added

Euro NCAP releases results on its first rear impact (whiplash) protection test.

New Euro NCAP Rating

Stricter rating is a score for adult occupant, child occupant, pedestrian and saftey assist. Cars without stability control as standard can't get five stars.

Pedestrian Detection In Darkness

This tech arrives on the next Volvo XC90.

Auto Braking For Five Stars

The Euro NCAP test will get even tougher, and cars without auto braking will find it difficult to acheive full marks, according to the crash testing body.

Animal Detection

Another system for the XC90. It can spot an animal on the road and react by braking in less than two tenths of a second.

Car2Car communication

Cars will be able to communicate with eachother and warn other vehicles of upcoming road conditions, traffic light situations etc.
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