November 13, 2007
Volvo Cars has yet another award to flaunt. The award, which commends the Swedish automaker’s innovative booster seat that helps protect children who have outgrown their toddler seat, was recently given by Popular Science Magazine.
The car feature combines an extended inflatable curtain and a new, tougher side body structure, and load restrictive seat belts. The world's first two-step integrated booster cushion recently received international acknowledgement as a unique engineering solution to give children a safe and comfy travel experience.
Chosen from thousands of new products and innovations, and selected as 1 of 100 best new technologies for 2007, Volvo Car Corporation, LLC, received Popular Science's annual Best of What's New award for this child protection system, Earth Times reported. This design was first showcased in 2001 aboard Volvo's Safety Concept Car as a concept that would provide better seat belt positioning for children. Succeeding refinements to the seat, vehicle side body structure, seat belt attributes, and inflatable side curtain culminated with introducing Volvo's newest crossover wagon, the XC70 in Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland this past March, the report continued.
Earlier this year, the Swedish maker of cheap Volvo parts received an award from the World Traffic Safety Symposium at the 2007 New York International Auto Show. The award was for best new safety feature in an automobile.
The company prides itself in finding innovative ways to advance automobile safety. "Our goal is to help protect occupants. This award acknowledges our efforts to help protect our smallest passengers, our children," said Thomas Broberg, Senior Safety Advisor, Volvo Car Corporation, Sweden. "This new seat, in conjunction with our refinements in side body structure and the inflatable curtain will have a significant reduction in child injuries."
"We took into account the child's physical size and weight, seat belt misuse, child physiology, along with redesigning our vehicle side body structure and side impact inflatable curtain to come up with this new integrated two-step booster seat," noted Broberg. "There will be better fitment of our three-point seat belt, a wider age and weight range, and better attitude for the child who can now easily see outside with the added benefit of reducing driver distraction. Hopefully we will hear less often: 'Are we there yet?'"
This new child safety feature will be available this fall in the 2008 XC70 crossover wagon. It will be followed by the 2008 V70 in February next year. Priced at $495 this option includes two rear-seat mounted integrated booster seats and two pyrotechnically pretensioned seat belts with new load limiters to hold children using the feature and normally positioned adults.
The upper setting is engineered for children measuring 37-47 in. and weighing between 33 and 55 lbs., while the lower setting is designed for children between 45 and 55 in. height and weighing between 48 and 80 lbs.
A number of studies have shown that proper positioning with the use of a booster cushion helps reduce abdominal injuries caused by the child slipping under the seat belt. Field data in several studies backs these findings and stresses the significance of booster seats, and that the booster be designed to hold the belt firmly across the pelvis or thighs during a frontal impact.
Based on the findings of several studies, the overall effectiveness (Measured Abbreviated Injury Scale 2+) of booster seats is estimated as 31 percent as compared to using only a seat belt and as high as 75 percent as compared to no restraint at all.