Newark, Delaware (PressExposure) December 22, 2009 -- Porter Ford is proud of Fordâs long association with automotive safety. The company was the very first automaker to add seat belts as a safety feature in a vehicle. Ford was also the first automaker to initiate research into air bags. Ford has been researching these two key safety technologies for more than half a century now.
Continuing this tradition of innovation in safety, Ford announced last month their development of the worldâs first inflatable seat belts. This safety accessory merges the characteristics of traditional seat belts and air bags to provide an enhanced level of crash safety protection for rear seat occupants. This restraint system has been designed to help reduce head, neck and chest injuries for rear seat passengers, where often children and older passengers can be more susceptible to such injuries. These inflatable seat belts are designed to deploy over a vehicle occupantâs torso and shoulder in 40 milliseconds in the event of a crash. After deployment, the belt remains inflated for several seconds before dispersing its air through the pores of the air bag.
During daily use, the inflatable belts work just like conventional seat belts and are safe for infant and child booster seats. During Fordâs research, more than 90 percent of respondents said that the inflatable seat belts were more comfortable than a conventional belt because they feel padded and softer. Ford hopes that the comfort factor could help improve the 61% rear seat belt usage rate in the U.S. as opposed to the 82% usage by front seat passengers.
Ford has more 5-star U.S. government ratings and âTop Safety Picksâ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety than any other automaker. This year, Ford introduced radar-enabled Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Warning with Brake Support and Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Cross Traffic Alert (CTA). These technologies help drivers avoid potential hazardous crash situations using radar to detect the relative position of other vehicles and warn the driver with a combination of visual and audio alerts.