Green Operations

Ford Focus Earns IIHS 'Top Safety Pick'

July 23, 2009

The 2009 Ford Focus coupe delivers up to 35 mpg and features six standard air bags, standard ABS and available stability control-features that helped it earn a "Top Safety Pick" award from IIHS. The vehicle will be among the first to offer MyKey, which allows parents to limit the top speed and radio volume, and set other limits, when their teen is driving

Small Car Safety

The 2009 Focus uses high strength steel throughout its structure, is loaded with six standard airbags-including side curtains and seat-mounted air bags-and comes with new front seats designed to perform well in dynamic rear impact collisions.

The Focus' front seats are designed to help reduce the risk of soft tissue neck injuries, commonly referred to as "whiplash," by keeping the occupant in the proper position in the event of a rear collision. The head restraint and seatback work together to maintain the occupant's alignment by supporting the head, neck and torso. This helps manage the crash forces and minimizes the chances of whiplash-type injuries.

Focus features Ford's fully integrated, computer-driven Personal Safety System, which employs nearly a dozen technologically advanced components. It analyzes different frontal crash conditions and deploys the appropriate occupant protection systems for the specific crash conditions.

A new option for 2009 is electronic stability control (ESC), which uses sophisticated sensors and the anti-lock braking system to help drivers maintain control of their vehicle under a variety of driving conditions.

MyKey Promotes Teen Safety

Later this summer, Ford will begin rolling out its innovative MyKey technology, which is designed to help parents encourage their teenagers to drive safer and more fuel efficiently, and increase safety-belt usage.

The feature will debut as standard equipment on the 2010 Ford Focus and will quickly become standard on many other Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models. It allows owners to program a key that can limit the vehicle's top speed and audio volume. MyKey also encourages safety-belt usage by muting the audio system until front occupants buckle up.

SYNC Helps Drivers Remain Focused

Also setting the Focus coupe apart from other small cars is Ford's industry-exclusive SYNC technology, which is standard equipment on the SES and SEL series and optional on the SE. Ford SYNC, introduced first on the 2008 Focus, is a fully integrated, voice-activated communications and entertainment system allowing customers to operate their Bluetooth-enabled cell phones and digital media players with voice commands.

Recent Ford telematics research shows that Ford SYNC hands-free system significantly reduces the level of distraction when drivers select a phone number or choose a song on their MP3 player compared with the same operations with hand-held cell phones and music players. For example, reading a text message on a handheld phone typically took the driver's eyes off the road for 11 seconds compared to about two seconds when listening to the text message with SYNC's text-to-speech output.

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