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Nils Bohlin

AKA Nils Ivar Bohlin

Born: 17-Jul-1920
Birthplace: Härnösand, Sweden
Died: 26-Sep-2002
Location of death: Ramfall, Sweden
Cause of death: Heart Failure
Remains: Buried, Torpa Church, Ramfall, Sweden

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Engineer, Inventor

Nationality: Sweden
Executive summary: Three-point safety belt

Nils Bohlin studied the efficiencies and dangers of seat belts, and developed the three-point seal belt while working for Volvo in the late 1950s. The three-point design extends over both lap and chest, with a single belt anchored to the auto's frame by three connections. This is far superior to the previous two-point design, where a single belt stretched over the passenger's lap and could cause serious abdominal injuries in a crash. Shoulder harness belts had been available prior to Bohlin's invention, but only as an expensive accessory, and requiring wearers to buckle into two separate restraints.

Bohlin's design, now standard worldwide, uses one continuous piece of fabric for both the lap and chest restraint, allowing passengers to buckle both with just one motion. It dissipates impact force far better than the two-point designs, shielding passengers from serious injuries and better preventing bodily ejection in accidents. Studies suggest that the three-point design reduces car crash fatalities by about 45%, and it is estimated to have saved more than a million lives between its introduction in 1959 and Bohlin's death in 2002.

Wife: Majbrict (three children, two stepchildren)
Son: Gunnar Ornmark (stepson)
Son: Jonas Ornmark (stepson)

    University: BS Mechanical Engineering, Härnösand Läroverk, Härnösand, Sweden (1939)

    Saab Mechanical designer (1942-58)
    Volvo Safety engineer (1958-59)
    Volvo Vice President of Automotive Safety (1959-85)
    Ralph H. Isbrandt Automotive Safety Engineering Award (1974)
    Society of Automotive Engineers
    Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences
    Gold Medal Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (1995)
    Automotive Hall of Fame (1999)
    National Inventors Hall of Fame (2002)
    Stroke May-2002
    Heart Attack 24-Sep-2002 (fatal; died two days later)
    Swedish Ancestry


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