Safety is an important factor to consider when shopping for a new vehicle, particularly for families with children. With today’s technology, it’s simply not acceptable to purchase a new vehicle if it doesn’t have the safety features that are important for all of the passengers in your car.
This article will introduce you to the many safety features available on the 2014 Ford Flex, including preventative safety features, safety features in the event of an accident, and safety features designed specifically for children and teens.
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The 2014 Ford Flex comes with a number of preventative safety measures, many of them tied to electronic stability control systems.
One concern that comes up often, particularly with people who are switching from a shorter vehicle, is that the long wheelbase of the Flex might affect its ability to corner safely. Ford addressed this problem by implementing a system called AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control (RSC) and Curve Control. There’s a lot of very detailed engineering that goes into this system, but basically, it works by using gyroscopic sensors to measure how quickly going around a curve, and can apply the brakes to individual wheels to help you maintain control without slipping and rolling over.
In addition, the Traction Control System, which comes standard on every new Ford model, uses sensors to determine how much traction each wheel has. Several times per second, it can adjust braking and engine control to ensure that the wheels that are receiving power are only those that have traction.
Trailer Sway Control, which works in conjunction with the AdvanceTrac RSC system, and which comes with the Class III Trailer Tow Package, incorporates additional software that can detect the motion of a trailer being pulled by the Flex. It applies braking and engine adjustments to individual wheels to help the driver maintain control over the trailer, especially around corners and in high winds. For every driver, but particularly for those who have less experience with maintaining control over a trailer, Trailer Sway Control offers an additional layer of confidence, safety and control.
The combination of an Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) and Brake Assist offer drivers more of an ability to maintain control of the Flex in extreme braking situations. ABS works by detecting how much traction a wheel has, and pumps the brakes automatically in order to maximize braking without the wheel slipping. When a wheel loses traction and starts to skid, the driver no longer has control over the direction or speed of the wheel, and ABS helps the driver to maintain control. Brake Assist aids in this process by detecting when the brake pedal is applied suddenly, but without enough power to provide full deceleration. It then applies extra braking power in order to reduce stopping distance. In a nutshell, when you slam on your brakes in an emergency braking situation, ABS keeps you from braking too much and losing control, while Brake Assist keeps you from braking too little.
Every new Ford vehicle, including the 2014 Ford Flex, comes standard with features like the Tire Pressure Monitoring System, which monitors each individual wheel’s tire pressure and can alert you when a tire is getting low or is over inflated, as well as the BeltMinder system, which chimes and flashes an alert every 30 seconds for five minutes if the driver or the front passenger are unbuckled while the vehicle is running. These features have been standard on Ford vehicles for several years.
There are also a number of Sensing and Driver Assist Technologies which are standard or optional on the 2014 Ford Flex, including:
- Reverse Sensing (Standard on all models of 2014 Ford Flex)
- Rear Camera (Standard on Limited, Available on SEL)
- Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) (Standard on Limited, Available on SEL)
- Cross Traffic Alert System (tied to BLIS) (Standard on Limited, Available on SEL)
- Active Park Assist (Available on Limited)
- Adaptive Cruise Control (Available on Limited)
- Collision Warning with Brake Support (Tied to Adaptive Cruise Control) (Available on Limited)
In addition, the 2014 Ford Flex comes standard with a number of anti-theft security systems, including a standard SecuriLock Invisible Keypad, for keyless entry. This allows you to get in your car, even if you don’t have a key, by using a secure code. The keypad is invisible until touched, blending into the black B-column of the vehicle. When touched, the numbers illuminate, allowing you to enter the code to unlock the vehicle. This is particularly handy if you have accidentally locked the keys inside, since you will no longer have to wait for roadside assistance to show up for you to regain access to your vehicle.
Another standard security feature on the Flex is the SecuriLock Passive Anti-Theft System, which uses a specially coded ignition key. The car will not start unless the code in the key matches the code of the vehicle, and with billions of possible combinations, the likelyhood of a would-be thief absconding with your vehicle using a fake key are very low.
In addition, every Flex comes standard with a Perimeter Anti-Theft Alarm, which will sound when any unauthorized entry is detected, including entry of the doors, hood or liftgate when the vehicle is locked. If the alarm is triggered in error, it can be turned off using the remote access key, or by inserting the correct key into the ignition.
Safety in the Event of an Accident
The 2014 Ford Flex features 6 standard airbags, including dual-stage front airbags, front-seat side airbags, and side-curtain airbags, located in the roof side rail behind the headliner, which deploy downward and outward toward the side window opening to protect the heads of outboard passengers in all three rows. These side-curtain airbags are often referred to as the Safety Canopy System.
In addition, Second-Row Inflatable Safety Belts are available on any 2014 Ford Flex. These use cold-compressed air to inflate the safety belts for second row passengers, thus spreading out the crash forces across an area five times larger than a standard safety belt. This reduces the likelihood of injury, and more effectively holds the passenger in the appropriate seating position. There is no difference in day-to-day normal operation of these inflatable safety belts versus normal safety belts.
Every Flex is also equipped with the Personal Safety System, which uses sensors to determine the appropriate amount of airbag deployment necessary to keep the passengers in the vehicle safe in the event of a crash. It will then tailer the deployment of the airbags depending on the severity of the crash, driver and passenger seat belt use, driver seat position, and passenger classification.
All of these airbag features are compatible with properly-installed child and infant safety seats or booster seats.
There are a number of Structural Safety Features built into the Flex as well, including a collapsible steering column, which collapses in different directions and amounts depending on crash severity, energy-absorbing side door trim, which redirects the energy from a crash away from the vehicle occupants, and side-intrusion door beams, which help prevent intrusion into the passenger compartment in the event of a side-impact collision.
In the event of an accident, it is important that EMS and other first-responders can get to you quickly. To address this, every Ford vehicle now comes standard with the SOS Post Crash Alert System, which will activate the hazard flashers and sound the hord repeatedly in the event of a crash where the airbags deploy. In addition, it will turn on all of the interior lighting and security approach lamps equipped on the vehicle, for increased visibility. This will alert other drivers to the crash, and if your vehicle goes off the road, it will help first-responders to find your vehicle quickly. It can be disabled by simply pressing the button for the hazard lights. In the event of an accident where the battery or the hardware for the SOS system is damaged, it may not work properly.
The Ford Flex has been rated as a 2013 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), receiving the highest rating of “Good” for the Moderate Overlap Front Impact, Side Impact, and Roof Strength tests. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the Ford Flex a 4-star Overall Rollover Rating.
Children and Teens
The 2014 Ford Flex, in addition to all of the other safety features, comes with a number of features specifically tailored for children and teens.
The Flex comes standard with the LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children), which allow you to safely and easily secure infant and toddler car seats in your vehicle, as well as booster seats for older children. The Flex comes with three seats that are equipped with the LATCH System: two in the second row, and 0ne in the third row. This is a system standard across car manufacturers as well as across car seat manufacturers, and is designed for maximum safety, security, ease of use, and consistency across different types of vehicles and with different types of carseats.
The Flex is also equipped with Child Safety Locks for the second row passenger doors, to prevent children from accidentally opening the doors while the vehicle is in motion. They are easy to enable or disable, and are a proven and effective safety measure.
The Flex comes standard with the MyKey system, which is a first in the automotive industry. This system allows you to program a number of keys with specific settings for things like Maximum Speed, Maximum Audio Volume Limiter, a persistent BeltMinder, and an earlier Low-Fuel Warning. This system was designed with teen and inexperienced drivers in mind, and has been proven to encourage safer driving habits. In addition, you can also track miles driven for a specific key, as well as set speed warning chimes at 45 mph, 55 mph, 65 mph and 75 mph.
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