The safety of light commercial vehicles is often overlooked in favour of performance, fuel efficiency and emissions; Ford however have made safety top priority with the new Transit Custom, building it heavily into the design of their new offering.
Safety in the manufacture of commercial vehicles is encompassed by three different aspects. Active (accident avoidance), passive (in-accident protection for driver, passengers and pedestrians) and tertiary (exiting the vehicle post accident) and with the new Transit Custom, Ford have taken great care to address all three.
They have developed an Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), which includes both Trailer Sway Control and Hill Launch Assist; these are fitted as standard across the range. Along with these standard features the optional extras available also include a speed limiter as well as Lane and Driver Alert. There is also the option of a rear camera system, which creates an image in the rear-view mirror.
As you would expect a driver’s airbag comes as standard with the option of one for the passenger. Ford have gone one further than other vehicles in the market with their ‘stroking’ steering column, which pulls the steering column away from the driver in the event of a front end collision.
In another first for the sector, the Transit Custom aims to improve pedestrian safety with a bumper which includes energy-absorbing elements designed to reduce the impact of a collision and reduce the damage sustained by pedestrians.
It’s so far so good for the Transit Custom, which has passed 30 full vehicle crash test validations with flying colours. All that is needed now is the official report from Euro NCAP, which is eagerly awaited by the designers at Ford.
A safe van can mean a cheap van in terms of van insurance premiums, providing food for thought for many of the UK’s fleet managers and light commercial vehicle drivers.
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