Ford Authority

2022 Ford Explorer Among SUVs That Flunk IIHS Seat Belt Reminder Test

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently revised its seat belt reminder test following a study that found more persistent and noticeable alerts could save as many as 1,500 lives per year and increase belt usage by 34 percent. The result, as one might expect, is that a large number of crossovers and SUVs currently on the market failed this new test, including the Ford Escape, which received a rating of “poor” for its performance because its unbelted occupant alert lasted less than 8 seconds and didn’t initiate quickly enough. It isn’t alone, however, as the 2022 Ford Explorer also flunked the test with a “poor” rating of its own.

Currently, federal standards specify that seat belt reminders must include an audible signal that lasts for 4-8 seconds, as well as a visual alert that lasts at least 60 seconds whenever the driver’s seat belt is unbuckled. To earn a “good” rating on the revised IIHS test, a vehicle’s systems must generate an audible signal and visual alert when the vehicle is moving at speeds of at least 6 miles per hour and the system detects an unbelted occupant. The alert must be loud enough to be heard over any background noise and must last at least 90 seconds, or 30 seconds if a previously fastened second-row belt is unbuckled.

The 2022 Ford Explorer – which is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ winner – received its poor rating because of a slow initiation time, duration of fewer than 8 seconds, and a volume that wasn’t deemed loud enough. It’s a stark contrast to the recent praise Ford has received from the IIHS for not only fulfilling its voluntary pledge to equip the vast majority of its U.S. light-duty vehicles with Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) ahead of schedule but also for the effectiveness of those systems compared to rivals.

“Most Americans use their seat belts, especially in the front seat. But the small number who don’t translate into a lot of fatalities,” said IIHS President David Harkey. “Almost half of the drivers and front-seat passengers killed in crashes in 2019 weren’t belted. By now everybody knows that seat belts save lives when they are used. Our research shows that effective seat belt reminders can also save lives by getting those who aren’t diligent about belt use to buckle up. These new ratings are designed to push manufacturers to realize that potential.”

We’ll have more on the 2022 Explorer soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Explorer news and non-stop Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. austin morris

    If I want to drive without the effing belt, I shall. And nagging me will do no effing good at all.


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