Raise your hand if you were a kid whose parents let you ride in the very back of the family station wagon on road trips, rolling from side to side during left and right turns. Anyone? All of us? It would have been difficult to imagine back then that there would come a day in which we would be driving vehicles so advanced in safety technology, our days as human cargo would become merely an eye-rolling memory. Times have sure changed – now, driver and occupant safety are a priority for buyers when considering a vehicle purchase.
Those are a priority for Ford too, from bumper to bumper. Ford now has 10 vehicles on the road in the U.S. that have earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick rating. Among them is the 2011 Edge (for models built after February 2011).
But a vehicle is not named a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS solely for being outfitted with innovative safety equipment. It must receive a rating of “good” from the IIHS in offset frontal-, side- and rear-impact crash tests and roof strength evaluations, as well as offer electronic stability control.
That’s not to say that safety offerings aren’t an important part of the overall package. The cutting-edge driver-aid and safety technologies available for the Edge are striking a chord with buyers. Of the first 101,908 vehicles sold, 80 percent included a rear view camera, while 32 percent included BLIS® (Blind Spot Information System).
Additional safety options for the Edge include Adaptive Cruise Control, which slows the vehicle to adapt for traffic conditions and maintain a preset distance between vehicles. There’s also Collision Warning with brake support, which helps reduce speed, automatically pre-charges brakes, provides a red warning light on the windshield as well as an audible beep to help drivers stop more quickly when the system detects a collision is imminent.
BLIS with cross-traffic alert, helps detect vehicles in blind spots during normal driving, as well as traffic approaching from the sides when reversing out of parking spots. The Tire Pressure Monitoring System alerts drivers when it senses tire pressure is low, while MyKey allows parents to limit speed and audio volume in their vehicles and is designed to help parents encourage safe driving habits in their teens.
The Edge also features a solid unibody construction, which provides an energy-absorbing structure to help protect occupants. Bumper-to-bumper flow-through side rails, structural design and A-pillars are designed to move crash energy away from occupants. Nearly half of the stiff shell is composed of high-strength steels, such as boron, for both increased strength and reduced weight.
When a crash becomes unavoidable, the Edge relies on an array of airbags. Two front dual-stage and two side airbags are joined by a Safety Canopy® consisting of side-curtain airbags for front and rear outboard passengers. Personal Safety System™ safety belts feature pretensioners and an energy management system with adjustable D-ring height in the first row.
The other Ford vehicles that have earned the Top Safety Pick rating are the 2011 models of the Explorer, Taurus, Fusion, Fiesta (when built after July 2010) and Flex as well as the 2011 models of the Lincoln MKS, MKT, MKX and MKZ.