Explorer: The Next Generation of Safety

Forgive the title of this post for sounding like something you’d see at Comic-Con. It’s just, I couldn’t think of a more precise way of explaining exactly how I feel about Ford’s newest safety tech after driving around with it for a few days. While this post talks about my experience specifically with the Explorer, most of this tech comes either standard or as an option on every car Ford sells, and it’s stuff that’s worth talking about.

I’m a safe driver. I mind my mirrors, always check my blind spot, keep a safe distance between the car in front of me, and avoid distractions. I’d like to believe I don’t need cool safety features, that I’ve got that part covered, but driving these new Fords has really opened my eyes to a few things. Here’s the skinny:

Blind spot mirrors change everything (perhaps a little bit of hyperbole, but not as much as you might think). The typical driver should be programmed to go through a routine before changing lanes: blinker, mirror, blind spot, go. That’s the protocol we’ve all been programmed to, which is actually a good thing. Blind spot mirrors, however, make this process a lot easier. It’s more like this: blinker, mirror, if light is on stop there, if light is off check blind spot, go. The amount of head turning this saved me over the course of a couple days is crazy, especially considering that my eyes could now be on the road instead of checking my blind spot. I felt safe, more confident, and less stressed in lane change situations.

The biggest difference, however, came during high-stress situations (“it’s your next right. No, wait, it’s this right!”). I’ve found that when I need to move quickly, I often start to move over before actually checking my blind spot, which is then followed by some honking and a frantic shift back into my lane once I do check. With blind spot mirrors, however, I was immediately aware of oncoming cars and could react accordingly in these high-tension situations.

While blind spot mirrors are awesome, they aren’t the whole Ford safety cake. Ford also features technology to check cross traffic while reversing, alert drivers when drifting, and maintain safe distances during cruise control. All of these features, while never eliminating the need for caution and common sense, make driving a safer and more confident experience for drivers.

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