July 10: Volvo patents the three-point seat belt on this date in 1962

Buckle in, cowboy

There's no better example of a good idea that took far too long to discover than the three-point seat belt. Even though automakers knew seat belts could save lives — and that the lap belts in many cars could cause injuries in wrecks — it wasn't until 1959, when Volvo hired Swedish engineer Nils Bohlin, that the idea of keeping passengers restrained in a crash received a serious look. Bohlin came up with the idea of an additional belt over the passenger's shoulder, which Volvo quickly released in 1959 on the Amazon, and was granted a patent for on this date in 1962. By 1968, after Volvo shared its patent with other automakers, every new U.S. vehicle sold was required to have three-point seat belts, and the innovation has saved well over a million lives and counting since.