The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently tested seats and head restraints in 14 current minivans for protection against neck injuries in rear crashes. Two vehicles, Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey, earned IIHS' top overall rating. Both vehicles also earned top “dynamic” ratings. According to IIHS chief operating officer Adrian Lund, “Moms often are behind the wheel, and women are more vulnerable to whiplash injuries so they especially need good seats and head restraints.” IIHS reports that debilitating neck injuries are the most common kind reported in automobile crashes and are most likely to occur in rear impact collisions. Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey are offered with many standard safety features including the Personal Safety System consisting of restraints control module, safety belt pretensioners, driver’s seat position sensor, dual-stage front airbags, front safety belt usage sensors, energy management retractors and front crash test severity sensors. Also included standard are front row manual 3-point lap/shoulder safety belts with D-ring height adjusters, third row 3-point lap/shoulder belts for all three positions, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, side intrusion beams and child safety sliding door locks.
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