Nifty Idea: Inflatable Seat Belts!

I like this new safety feature from Ford: offer customers inflatable seat belts to protect rear occupants who don’t have the benefit of an airbag to protect them in a frontal crash. Sure, many cars now come with side curtain airbags, but when it comes to a head-on collision, rear seating passengers don’t have all the protection that they need.

inflatable seatbelt
Ford Safety Innovation Laboratory-Dean Jaradi, Advance Research Engineer of the inflatable belt, Ford Motor Company, speaks to media as Ford introduces the auto industry’s first-ever production inflatable seat belts, which are designed to provide additional protection for rear-seat occupants.

Well, buyers of the next generation Ford Explorer due out next year will find that they’ll have one more reason why to consider Ford when shopping for a sport utility vehicle. That vehicle will include the new feature which Ford says will protect occupants including small children who are most vulnerable in an accident.

Inflatable seatbelt
Crash test dummies, large and small, get to prove that Fords inflatable seat belts are a smart idea for families. The all new safety feature debuts with the next generation Ford Explorer next year.

“Ford is pioneering inflatable seat belt technology to help enhance crash safety protection, while encouraging more people to buckle up with a more comfortable belt,” said Paul Mascarenas, Ford vice president, Engineering, Global Product Development.

New Arrival: 2011 Ford Explorer

Speaking of the Ford Explorer, the next generation model will be a clear departure from the current model. Instead of residing on a truck chassis, the Explorer will be underpinned by a car chassis. Thus, the 2011 Explorer will probably lose its SUV designation in favor of CUV crossover utility vehicle.

Autoblog and some other sites have published spy photos of the next generation Explorer which give the vehicle a more wagon-like appearance, more rounded than the squared off Flex.


Further Reading

Safety on the Road: Winter Driving Precautions

2014 Ford Fusion Energi SE: Green Dreams

Source: Ford Motor Company

Author: Matthew Keegan
Matt Keegan has maintained his love for cars ever since his father taught him kicking tires can be one way to uncover a problem with a vehicle’s suspension system. He since moved on to learn a few things about coefficient of drag, G-forces, toe-heel shifting, and how to work the crazy infotainment system in some random weekly driver. Matt is a member of the Washington Automotive Press Association and is a contributor to various print and online media sources.

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