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On the 30th anniversary of the UK mandatory seatbelt law, Volvo looks ahead to Vision 2020

On the 30th anniversary of the UK mandatory seatbelt law, Volvo looks ahead to Vision 2020


  • Volvo continues its Vision 2020 mission that nobody will be killed or seriously injured in or by a new Volvo by 2020
  • Volvo leading the way with City Safety, Volvo's autonomous emergency braking technology that helps prevent low speed accidents, standard on the all-new V40
  • Specially commissioned Volvo survey to mark the anniversary gives motorists their say on vehicle safety

Thirty years to the day since the introduction of the mandatory seatbelt law, and over 50 years since Volvo first developed the three-point seatbelt, the Swedish carmaker continues to lead the way with innovative safety technology working towards its Vision 2020 that nobody will be killed or seriously injured in or by a new Volvo by 2020.


To celebrate the 30th anniversary the mandatory use of seatbelts for drivers and front seat passengers, Volvo Car UK commissioned a survey into the British public's views on vehicle safety which revealed that despite major steps in road safety technology, most - 60% - do not believe safety innovations can wipe out road traffic accidents in the near future.


The law came into force on the 31st January 1983 and it has been estimated this legislation has saved over 60,000 lives* over that period.


The poll of 1,184 drivers also found:-

  • Many would welcome a range of safety innovations on vehicles with over a quarter saying they would like a car that drives itself
  • More than half would be happy to be driven by autopilot
  • 45% would like to see pedestrian protection technology on all cars
  • Over half want all round cameras fitted to vehicles
  • Interestingly, only a third of drivers believe speed limits on motorways should be increased because of these improved safety features

Volvo continues its market-leading approach to passive and active safety technology being the first manufacturer to introduce its auto-braking City Safety system as standard across all cars in the all-new V40 range.


City Safety, a low-speed collision avoidance system operates at speeds of up to 31 mph on the V40, keeps an eye on traffic in front and automatically brakes if the driver fails to react in time when the vehicle in front slows down or stops - or if the car is approaching a stationary vehicle too fast.


Features such as pedestrian detection where cars automatically brake when sensing pedestrians ahead, the world's first pedestrian airbag and even autopilot convoy driving where cars link together to drive themselves in special motorway ‘road trains' are already being used or tested by Volvo and the manufacturer hopes to start rolling out this technology in the next few years.


Volvo Car UK's Managing Director Nick Connor commented: "Volvo has a fantastic safety heritage at the forefront of innovative technology having clocked up several world firsts including the debut of the pedestrian airbag on the all-new V40 launched last year.


"As a nation of sceptics, it is perhaps not surprising the majority of British motorists think the introduction of vehicles which make accidents virtually a thing of the past is not possible but I have every faith in Volvo to prove them wrong!"


Volvo first introduced the two point cross-chest belt as an accessory in 1956 followed by the 3-point belt in the front as standard equipment in 1959.


Three decades of research and development means predictions of auto-piloted, self-driving, crash-proof cars on our roads by 2020 may not be all that farfetched despite the doubts of the majority of motorists surveyed.


Volvo invests heavily in safety research with its unique safety centre in Gothenburg carrying out hundreds of simulated crash scenarios each year and a dedicated safety team that visit the site of any road incident involving a Volvo within 50km to collect real world data.





Note to editors:-

The research for Volvo was carried out online by Opinion Matters between 08 / 01 / 2013 and 15 / 01 / 2013 amongst a panel resulting in 1,184 drivers. All research conducted adheres to the MRS Codes of Conduct (2010) in the UK and ICC/ESOMAR World Research Guidelines. Opinion Matters is registered with the Information Commissioner's Office and is fully compliant with the Data Protection Act (1998).


60% of drivers don't believe claims that safety innovations could virtually wipe out road traffic accidents in the next ten years (q6)

27% of drivers would like a car that drives itself (q2)
56% of drivers would be happy to be driven by autopilot (q5)
37% of drivers believe speed limits on motorways should be increased because of improved safety features on vehicles (q7)


*According to The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, Jan 2013

V40, Safety, 2013
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