The development of the seat belt in Sweden was not a result of the Swedish car industry's ingenuity. It was actually a result of Vattenfall's work to prevent accidents at its workplaces.
Vattenfall contacted the vehicle manufacturers who supplied Vattenfall with vehicles and suggested better protection by means of a seat belt. The manufacturers showed little interest, arguing that the seat belt would frighten motorists – they would assume travelling by car was dangerous.Two of Vattenfall's engineers, Bengt Odelgard and Per-Olof Weman, were then given the job of producing a seat belt directly for Vattenfall. The belts already on the market were not considered up to scratch. The two engineers established contacts in the USA, among other things, to keep in touch with the development work going on there. Based on these experiences, it was possible to specify requirements for a car seat belt.
Back in Sweden, Vattenfall's engineers carried out a number of experiments. For example, using a crane, they hoisted cars containing dummies up to a great height and then released them. There was also a test facility where crash tests with cars were carried out. This research and investigation work resulted in a diagonal seat belt, known as the 'Vattenfall seat belt'. Until the mid 1960s, this type of belt was the standard in Sweden and several other European countries.