Swedish engineer Nils Bohlin is issued patent No. 3,043,625 for a three-point automobile safety belt "for use in vehicles, especially road vehicles" on July 10, 1962, by the United States Patent Office.
Volvo Car Corp. hired Bohlin, a veteran of Sweden's aviation industry, as the company's first chief safety engineer, in 1958. He had been in charge of the team that developed ejection seats and pilot rescue systems for Saab Aircraft Co.
Safety-belt use in automobiles at the time was limited mostly to race cars. And the traditional two-point belt, which fastened a buckle over the abdomen, often caused severe internal injuries during high-speed crashes.
Bohlin designed the three-point system in less than a year, and Volvo introduced it in 1959. The three-point belt consisted of two straps that joined at the hip level and fastened at a single anchor. It reduced injuries by holding both the upper and lower body in place and reducing the impact of swift deceleration in a crash.