Professor Dr Klaus Langwieder, recipient of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, professor of vehicle safety and the German institution for child safety in vehicles, has passed away.
He studied mechanical engineering in Munich and was head of vehicle safety at the German Insurance Association for many years. Especially child safety in vehicles was always close to his heart. He analysed accident data, initiated numerous ambitious research projects to gain a deeper understanding of this data and used this knowledge to lobby very successfully in expert circles, committees and legislative groups to improve the protection of children as occupants. For example, he was instrumental in the successful international standardisation of ISOFIX, the introduction of side impact requirements and the optimisation of user-friendliness for child seats.
Early on, he recognised the need for improved and new legislative standards for child seats and, in addition to his great expertise, he used his human sensitivity and communication skills to achieve these great goals at the international level. He also regularly used his political skills successfully – sometimes underestimated or misjudged by colleagues and companions.
The reflection of his life’s work and his personality is certainly the annual child safety conference “Protection of Children in Cars”, which he created and made extremely successful with his signature over many years. This is how he created a meeting place for the international family of child safety experts, who have been gathering for 18 years to exchange ideas on all aspects of child safety in vehicles. Internationality without borders was his self-image, his invitation was accepted by everyone – from Europe, America, Asia and Australia – and he also gave professionals from non-privileged countries the chance to participate.
Klaus Langwieder will be remembered as an extremely attentive person who, even at an advanced age, listened with curiosity to younger people, always questioned issues and drew a lot of energy from this for action and change. He exuded his passion for child safety in fatherly seniority without vanity, but always to serve the goal of improving the protection of children in vehicles.
Klaus Langwieder passed away unexpectedly on Sunday 22 November 2020. We say goodbye to him with deep sadness and the greatest respect. He remains a personality who has put the safety of car occupants at the centre of his work for decades. We will miss him very much and remember the family and relatives.
On behalf of the International Child Safety Family
Dr. Reiner Nett
Kegelmann Technik GmbH