Backseat driving can start at a very young age. Volvo knows this and is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its integrated booster cushion seat for children, a safety feature that now comes standard in all Volvo vehicles. In honor of the occasion, the automaker is giving us a bit of a history lesson, sharing how it all came about, just in case you were wondering.
Volvo says it developed the first booster cushion for children back in 1978, but it wasn’t until 1990 that it started integrating the booster cushion into its cars. The first one was a redesigned centre armrest and served to simply elevate the seating position of the child to better accommodate the existing 3-point seat belt, a feature Volvo also notes it developed.
“The introduction of the first integrated booster cushion for improved child safety in 1990 was a huge step forward for child safety. One of the key benefits of integrated booster cushions is that it is developed as a part of the seat and the safety belt is in more direct contact with the child’s body, removing the possibility of ‘slack’ in the belt that could be associated with accessory booster cushions/seats or child seats,” says Lotta Jakobsson who is the Senior Technical Leader at Volvo Cars Safety Centre.
In 2007, Volvo improved upon the integrated booster cushion by adding a two-stage seat that can be height adjusted to grow with the child. However, Volvo does note that for maximum safety drivers should use a rearward facing child seat for kids younger than four.
According to Jakobsson, “The beauty of the integrated two-stage booster cushion is that it is always available and does not detract from normal adult usage of the seats. It means in effect that the rear seat is suitable for all but small children who should always be placed in a rearward facing child seat until the age of four. This increased safety and flexibility makes the integrated booster cushion a perfect solution. Unfortunately, not many car makers are offering such solutions at present. At Volvo Cars we believe that car makers should take the responsibility for developing child safety systems as a part of vehicle development to ensure the best performance. Children are our future – and we feel strongly that they should be given the best when it comes to safety. ”
Safety first for this automaker. It’s set the goal that by 2020 there will be no one seriously injured or killed while driving a new Volvo.
For more information about child safety seats head to SaferCar.gov.