The 2002 Ford Explorer was named a “Best Pick” for offset frontal crash testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).The Explorer is building on its heritage as an SUV safety leadership:-- Explorer is named a “Best Pick” by the IIHS for frontal offset crash performance. -- Explorer leads its class in U.S. government front crash performance with a 4-star driver and 5-star passenger rating. -- Since its introduction in 1990, Explorer has performed among the best in its class in real-world accident protection. Explorer has had a consistently better safety record than other mid-sized SUVs, both in all types of fatal accidents and in rollover fatal accidents. (17 percent better than other compact SUVs in all accidents and 19 percent better in rollover accidents.) -- Its front bumper has been lowered more than 2 inches to enhance compatibility. To accomplish this and still provide necessary ground clearance, Explorer’s frame essentially was inverted with diagonal top beams tracing downward to meet lower beams. -- Four-wheel-drive Explorer models are equipped with a new ControlSlip rear driveshaft. In the event of a frontal impact, the driveshaft is designed to telescope, not buckle. This movement helps the vehicle further absorb impact forces and manage energy. -- It features depowered dual airbags and the company’s BeltMinder safety belt system to help remind drivers to buckle up. With BeltMinder, a chime sounds and a red light flashes on the instrument panel. -- Child safety seat attachments assist with proper child seat attachment in the second and third rows. A series of additional safety features arrive on Explorer during the 2002 calendar year: -- The Explorer will feature Ford’s Safety Canopy. This airbag designed to enhance occupant protection in the event of a rollover. A sensor detects if a rollover is imminent, and deploys the Safety Canopy curtain airbag from the A to the C pillar. Unlike traditional airbags, the Safety Canopy remains inflated for up to six seconds to reduce the risk of occupant ejection. -- Ford’s comprehensive Personal Safety System becomes available in 2002. The system uses a series of sensors to help Explorer “think through” an accident to deploy appropriate restraints or airbags. The Personal Safety System features dual stage airbags with one or two levels of deployment possible. -- Explorer will offer Advance Trac, a computer-driven interactive vehicle dynamics system, later in 2002. It is the first Ford SUV available with such technology. The system is designed to enhance stability in extreme driving conditions.