How advanced car safety technology really works, in the words of a crash survivor

How advanced car safety technology really works, in the words of a crash survivor

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to experience advanced safety systems in an accident? This Ford Ranger owner shared in real life how a split-second intervention through technology could have saved a life.

A Ford Ranger owner in Sydney has got a rare glimpse of how advanced safety systems may have saved the lives of occupants in both cars in a horrific ‘T-Bone’ crash earlier this month.

Ford Ranger owner Ahmed Zuberi, who is treating a broken wrist and dislocated shoulder, says his injuries – and the condition of the other driver – could have been far worse had not advanced safety technology stepped in.

While crash avoidance systems – designed to reduce the effects of a crash or prevent a collision altogether – have been available in new cars for more than a decade, very few people have shared their experience of how the technology works.

In early January, Mr Zuberi was driving home with his wife and a friend in his new Ford Ranger when the driver of a Mazda3 sedan suddenly made a turn against the flow of traffic ahead.

“It all happened so quickly,” Mr. Zuberi told Drive. “The other car turned in front of me and immediately the (autonomous emergency braking) applied the brakes.

“In a split second, the dashboard warning light flashed, the beep sounded, and the brakes hit full force. The car reacted faster than a human could have reacted in this scenario.

“Our cars collided but my vehicle’s speed was reduced when we made contact.”

Mr. Zuberi estimates that the emergency braking system slowed the car from around 60 km/h to around 40 km/h in the blink of an eye.

“If (autonomous emergency braking) had not activated the impact would have been at a higher speed and I’m not sure the driver of the other car would have survived and we might have had more injuries. I’m just thankful that everyone was able to run away.”

Mr Zuberi said his wife in the front passenger seat and his friend in the back seat were unharmed, although he sustained some injuries.

“I didn’t have the strength (in my hand) to choose the park after the fall, so someone helped me with that. I knew my left hand and right shoulder were very sore, but I also knew I was very lucky. It could have been so much worse if the impact speed had been faster.”

While the smoke from the explosive material in the two front airbags was still settling (the other seven airbags did not need to be deployed), the Ford Ranger automatically began dialing 000 for emergency services.

Ford’s Automatic Emergency Call Assistance – triggered when an airbag deploys in a crash when a phone has been paired to a vehicle using either Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto – has been available on select models in Australia since 2013.

Automated Emergency Call technology became more widely available on Ford vehicles in 2015 when it was introduced on the Ford Ranger Ute and Ford Everest SUV – and has been standard on all new Ford vehicles sold in Australia since 2020.

Ford says it has sold more than half a million vehicles with 000 emergency assistance technology in Australia to date, but it doesn’t know how many times the technology has been activated.

“We do not have data on how often the feature has been used as our systems do not collect that information,” said a Ford Australia spokesman drive.

However, they noted: “Ford Australia is very proud of the Emergency Response feature, but we also hope that none of our customers will ever have to experience it.”

After the airbags deploy, Emergency Assistance technology allows a vehicle occupant 10 seconds to cancel the automated call. If there is no answer, the call is transferred to 000.

The technology aims to connect drivers to first responders more quickly and alert emergency services to a vehicle’s location (via satellite coordinates) in the event the driver or occupants are incapacitated.

“I heard the phone ring, but I didn’t know what it was at first,” said Mr. Zuberi. “I was still in shock and going through what just happened. But the car automatically called 000 and they were able to respond quickly.”

The driver of the other car was taken to the hospital as a precaution but was discharged soon after arrival, however Mr Zuberi required medical attention.

“I have no doubt that without this technology this would have been a much more serious crash.”

Mr. Zuberi was so impressed that he shared his real-life experience on social media, where too drive discovered his experience and asked him for a comment.

“Guys, believe me, you have a solid and safe car. saved my life All airbags worked. The collision protection worked. The automatic emergency number worked,” he told the Next Gen Ranger Owners Australia group on Facebook.

He is now waiting for a replacement for his written-off Ford Ranger XLS 4×4. “Obviously, you don’t want anyone to have that experience, but honestly, without this technology, it could have been a much worse outcome for the driver of the other car.”

Joshua Dowling has been a motoring journalist for over 20 years, most of his time working for The Sydney Morning Herald (as motor editor and one of the early members of the Drive team) and News Corp Australia. He joined CarAdvice / Drive in 2018 and has been a World Car of the Year judge for more than 10 years.

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