Ford's Advanced Airbag System Aims to Enhance Passenger Protection in Frontal Crashes
A study of Ford's advanced restraint system, called the Personal Safety System, shows it is already leading to enhanced passenger protection in frontal crashes. In addition, Ford is underscoring its commitment to further advance occupant safety by adding seat weight sensing technology to the 2002 Ford Windstar Personal Safety System. And the company is planning for the future by developing a next generation system that will recognize and adapt to the "size" of front-seat passengers. A detailed case study of more than 50 accidents involving the Personal Safety System on 2000 model year Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable sedans is being conducted in cooperation with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Ford says preliminary results from this safety research study, as reported by NHTSA, are encouraging and further demonstrate the occupant protection benefits offered by the Personal Safety System. The government made an offer to assess new occupant protection systems in 1999, and when the Personal Safety System debuted that Septem-ber, Ford was the first automaker to agree to participate. The objective of the Advanced Occupant Protection System Study is to assess the real-world performance of new occupant protection technologies. According to NHTSA, there have been no airbag-related fatalities or life threatening injuries in vehicles they have studied that are equipped with Ford's advanced restraint system. One of the goals of the system is to significantly reduce the number of airbag deployments during lower-severity frontal crashes. For frontal impacts in which the safety belt provides the appropriate level of restraint, this helps to reduce the potential for airbag-related injuries. Individual case studies will be posted at www.nhtsa.dot.gov.