14. May 2012
This is the Renault Twizy. It is an electric vehicle. Yes, it is a real vehicle.
Some people might think that, well, it doesn’t look particularly safe. But what’s interesting to note is that Autoliv has developed a supplemental seatbelt system for the Twizy, one that is used in addition to the conventional three-point seatbelt.
What they’ve developed is a two-point shoulder belt, which what you can see on the left side of the photo below (if you look closely, you can see the three-point belt on the upper right).
The point of this is that in the event of a crash, the load is more widely distributed on the occupant. One consequence: rib strain is reduced by as much as half.
Another benefit of the two-point belt is that the occupant is protected in all directions, and because with the three-point belt, the occupant has both shoulders strapped in, thereby keeping the occupant in the vehicle and while in the vehicle in place, not potentially flung into the other occupant (assuming that it is in a car, unlike the Twizy, that has more than one occupant per row).
Some might think that a four-point belt might be a better solution (like the things that race car drivers or flight attendants use), these generally take two hands for buckling up, which people, apparently, are resistant to. (Apparently they need the other hand for texting.)
This two-point belt simply requires that the occupant slip an arm under it, then buckle the three-point belt per usual.