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Ford to Offer Inflatable Seat Belts in Flex, Upcoming Lincoln Models

Ford's inflatable seat belts (shown right) reduce head, neck and chest injuries.

Ford raised its bar for safety earlier this year with the introduction of inflatable rear seat belts in the Explorer. Now the automaker plans to expand the technology by making inflatable belts optional in Ford Flex and select Lincoln vehicles set to hit dealer lots next summer.

“This advanced restraint system is designed to help reduce head, neck and chest injuries for rear seat passengers, often children and older passengers who can be more vulnerable to such injuries,” says Sue Cischke, Ford group vice president of Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering in a press release.

Ford says the addition of the inflatable belts builds on the Flex’s Top Safety Pick status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and that the automaker plans to offer them affordably. “Ford said 40 percent of Explorer buyers have chosen the inflatable seat belt option,” reports the Associated Press. “It costs $195 to add the belts to the Explorer XLT, which starts at $31,520.”

Additionally, Explorer sales have included a significant number of safety-related options. “About 87 percent of all buyers have optioned up their Explorers with a rear view camera, while 40 percent have chosen the Blind Spot Information System,” says Left Lane News. “About 22 percent have selected a package that includes adaptive cruise control, rain-sensing wipers and active park assist.”

Shopping for a Ford Flex or Explorer? Check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars. Then, look for a great deal on a new Ford by checking out this month’s best car deals. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter.

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