Safety First

Volvo, Uber proclaim today as first National Seat Belt Day

Volvo invented the three-point safety harness in 1959, 60 years ago.

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

Do you always buckle up when you're in a car? What about in a taxi or Uber? According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, four out of five adults say they don't always use a seat belt when taking short trips or when in the backseat of a taxi or ride-share vehicle.

Volvo Car USA, Uber, and the Governors Highway Safety Association have joined together to proclaim November 14 as National Seatbelt Day, in an effort to bring awareness to the benefits that seats belts provide.

"The safety belt is still among the most important safety features in the car today," said, Jim Nichols, Product and Technology Communications Manager, Volvo Car USA. "We are proud that the three-point safety belt has endured over the years and is now featured in every vehicle sold."

60th Anniversary of the Seat Belt ad Volvo, Uber, and GHSA are using this ad to help make riders aware of the benefits of using a safety belt.Image courtesy of Volvo Car USA

The three-point safety belt was launched by Volvo in 1959 and celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. Volvo estimates that the belt has saved a million lives since it debuted but notes that, " its effectiveness is only as good as its use."

In 2018 the rate of seat belt use in the U.S. was 89.6%, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Of the 37,133 people killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2017, 47% were not wearing seat belts. NHTSA research indicates that buckling up is the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself in a crash.

It's important to remember that air bags are designed to work with seat belts, not replace them. Safety belts and air bags, as well as modern safety and driver assistance technologies and strong frame materials, are all part of a modern safety system that works together to keep vehicle occupants safe.

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Volvo is helping teens safety get behind the wheel.

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

Pandemic or not, teen drivers need to learn how to properly operate a vehicle. Volvo has announced that all Volvo owners with aspiring student drivers can now receive free access to AAA's "How to Drive" online driver education course.

AAA's 30-hour, self-paced course is built on research based-curriculum and featuring interactive exercises and real-world scenarios.

"While Volvo strives to make the safest cars on the road, it is just as important for the safety of all that the driver feel prepared and confident behind the wheel," said Jim Nichols, Sr. Product and technology Communications Manager, Volvo Car USA. "In a year that has seen unprecedented disruption to driver education nationwide, we felt compelled to provide Volvo families with access to the best online learning platform available and tools like Care Key and AAA resources to help make the roads safer for everyone."

Volvo driver's ed analysis Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

In 2019, Volvo released the results of their study into the state of driver's education in the U.S. According to the study, more than half (52 percent) of Americans feel driver education is outdated, while 60 percent feel the driver's test is designed to be passed, as opposed to truly testing one's driving skills.

Volvo owners can receive access to their AAA "How to Drive" course by:

  • Visit the Volvo Car USA Customer Support page
  • Click AAA Driver Education
  • Enter your information including Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Once approved, you will receive a confirmation email with unique code
  • Click on link to AAA website and use code to redeem course.

Volvo has been on the forefront of automotive safety innovation for decades. The three-point safety belt was launched by Volvo in 1959. The company announced earlier this year that it will limit all its vehicles to 112 mph. The company's Care Key allows owners to set a speed limit for themselves or family members, similar to the way Chevrolet's Teen Driver works.

"AAA is excited to partner with Volvo to help prepare new drivers for the rigors of driving on today's roads, and to use modern vehicle technologies safely and effectively" said William Van Tassel, Ph.D., AAA driver training programs manager. "TeenDriving.AAA.com offers a a variety of tools to help prepare parents and teens. Both the Parents Coaching Guide and StartSmart Parent Session are excellent resources on how to become effective in-car coaches as well as advice on how to manage teen driving privileges."

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Volvo's Advanced Air Cleaner technology allows owners to be more informed about the environmet of their vehicle.

Photo courtesy of Volvo Cars

Volvo drivers will be able to see the quality of the air inside their vehicle thanks to new, first-to-market technology from the automaker. Called Advanced Air Cleaner, the tech includes a sensor that measures PM 2.5 levels inside the cabin.

PM 2.5 is a measurement that is widely used for air quality. It measures the amount of fine particulate matter in the air. High amounts of fine particulates can be an indication of pollution.

An air quality index rating of below 50 is considered good. Over 100 is hazardous to those with breathing-sensitive medical conditions. Over 200 is considered unhealthy while over 300 is considered hazardous.

Volvo Advanced Air Cleaner The car's infotaiment system displays the air quality amount for owners to see.Photo courtesy of Volvo Cars

In urban regions, PM 2.5 measurements are frequently above the amount recommended by the World Health Organization due to various forms of pollution.

This morning, the air quality in still-smokey San Francisco is 61. Springville, California, near the SQF Complex fire, has an air quality index ratio of 424. At the same time, Minneapolis, Minnesota has a ratings of 11. The main causes of these less-than-ideal numbers are high amounts of PM 2.5 in the atmosphere.

The new technology will be available on Volvo models built on the company's Scalable Product Architecture. This includes the Volvo V90, V90 Cross Country, XC90, and all 60 series models. It uses a synthetic fiber-based filter and ionization, up to 95 percent of all PM 2.5 particles are kept out of the cabin.

The Volvo infotainment system and app allow drivers to check the PM 2.5 levels in their vehicle.

Volvo Advanced Air Cleaner The Volvo app allows users to check the PM 2.5 levels of their vehicle remotely.Photo courtesy of Volvo Cars

"With our Advanced Air Cleaner technology, you can rest assured that the air you breathe inside your Volvo is cleaner and healthier," said Anders Löfvendahl, senior technical expert on cabin air quality at Volvo Cars. "We believe that clean air is good for you, both from a health and from a safety perspective, and will continue to push the envelope in this area."

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