Seatbelts in cars have looked the same for 30 years. In that time, every other safety feature in vehicles has evolved and improved dramatically. Now Ford is re-imagining the seatbelt.
One of the designs that Ford has come up with looks more like what we seen in Nascar than in a minivan. It has a “belt and suspenders” design, with straps over both shoulders, and a belt that attaches in the middle of the waist. When Ford stuck that design in a test vehicle, they found that it not only improved safety, but passengers found it more comfortable to wear as well. That comfort didn’t depend on the size of the passenger either.
Don’t expect to see this new racing harness-like design in Ford vehicles any time soon though. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208 currently does not allow this design to be used, but Ford hopes that that will be changed some time soon.