Here in Michigan, high-velocity physical interaction between motor vehicles and hoofed mammals is an all-too-common occurrence. Around these parts, such collisions usually involve white-tailed deer, which seem to be about as common as pigeons, crows and squirrels. These incidents generally result in hefty repair bills and fresh piles of venison on the roadside.
Montana resident Maureen Edgerton recently had a close encounter of her own and was lucky to walk away. Instead of a 200-pound deer, she ran into a heard of bison that was migrating across the road. Adult bison weigh 1,000 to 2,000 pounds, but somehow Edgerton walked away relatively unscathed. Not so lucky was her 2007 Ford Fusion or several of the Bison, all of which were write-offs. In spite of the damage to the front of the car, the roof remained intact and the engine was still running afterward. Needless to say, Edgerton is replacing the car with another Fusion.
DRIVER SURVIVES HIGH-SPEED YELLOWSTONE BISON CRASH TO BUY FUSION AGAIN
* Montana driver buys a 2010 Ford Fusion to replace her totaled 2007 Fusion after walking away from a catastrophic crash with a herd of bison near Yellowstone Park
* The all-new 2010 Fusion and Fusion Hybrid – the most fuel efficient midsize car in North America – feature exclusive safety technologies and are "Top Safety Pick" rated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)
* Among the Fusion's segment-exclusive safety and driver-aid technologies are Blind Spot Information System (BLISTM) with Cross Traffic Alert and 911 Assist
CONTEXT / BACKGROUND:
Maureen Edgerton, 51, of West Yellowstone, Mt., was driving home on the dark night of April 11, when she unexpectedly slammed her 2007 Ford Fusion into a herd of bison. The 55-mile-per-hour impact totaled the car and killed several of the migrating "American buffalo" on the snowbound highway. Edgerton, however, walked away with only minor scrapes and bruises. Impressed by the Fusion's crash protection, safety features and fuel efficiency, Edgerton has picked the new 2010 Ford Fusion to be her next new vehicle.
"The crash was like a war scene. By the time it was over the hood was smashed in, the mirrors were ripped from the doors and the windshield was shattered, but the interior of the car wasn't affected whatsoever. And the car was still running and not leaking fluid. Not even the tires were deflated. Everyone who came to the scene asked 'what kind of car is this?' because they couldn't believe it was possible to walk away from such a crash."
– Maureen Edgerton, Fusion owner and resident of West Yellowstone, Mt.
"The Fusion's safety systems worked just as they were supposed to in Maureen's accident. They saved her life. I don't think there was any question in her mind when she came to us that her next car would be another Fusion, because the new model has even more safety technology on it than the one she'd been driving."
– Gary Berg, sales consultant at Bozeman Ford Lincoln Mercury in Bozeman, Mt.
"While our customer's bison collision certainly demonstrates how tough the 2007 Fusion is, we've designed the new Fusion to be even tougher. It proves that a high level of safety can come in a midsize package."
– Steve Kozak, chief engineer, Ford Safety Systems
While Ford Motor Company does not have specific requirements to protect customers in collisions with bison or other animals, all of the company's vehicles are designed and tested to meet rigorous crash safety requirements. These requirements help protect occupants in all sorts of collisions, even with bison, which can grow to more than 6 feet tall, 11 feet long and more than 2,200 pounds.
Having emerged from the accident relatively unscathed, Edgerton said the decision to buy another Fusion came easily. The new model has even more safety features, such as side curtain air bags and is "Top Safety Pick" rated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). It also comes equipped with optional all-wheel drive and delivers segment-leading fuel economy for Edgerton's long drives up Rocky Mountain passes to visit her daughter in Seattle, Wash.
Maureen and her husband Doug Edgerton, who manufacture and sell ski grooming equipment, have driven Ford vehicles for many years, including at present a 2005 Ford Escape XLT, a 2002 F-250 XLT diesel, 2008 F-250 XLT V10. Previous to purchasing her 2007 Fusion, Maureen put 250,000 miles on a 1999 Ford Taurus.
Front and side impact protection
Fusion gets some of its core strength from the use of lightweight high-strength steel in the body structure. The structure of the Fusion helps it withstand intrusion in many accidents, including the most common frontal and side impacts.
The tailor-welded B-pillars between the front and rear doorframes are stronger at the top of the vehicle – from below the beltline upward – than at the bottom. This helps to channel energy below the level of the occupants. At the torso level and above, the structure helps to prevent intrusion into the passenger compartment.
Fusion's front and side-protection elements include:
* The first use on a Ford vehicle of dual-phase, high-strength steel rails on the front end;
* Two energy absorbing foam blocks between the inner door panels and interior trim, aligned with the occupants' chest and hip ;
* Side-intrusion beams inside the door, anchored at the hinge and latch areas;
* Tailor-welded steel in the B-pillar structure with extra thickness – nearly a quarter inch of solid steel – above the beltline; and
* Front-seat side air bags for front occupants and side-curtain air bags for head protection in both rows.
Among the segment-exclusive safety and driver aid technologies on the new Fusion is Blind Spot Information System (BLISTM) with Cross Traffic Alert and 911 Assist – a new feature integrated into the award-winning Ford SYNCTM hands-free system.
The 911 Assist feature is designed to aid occupants in placing a call directly to a local 911 emergency operator if an accident that activates an air bag or the emergency fuel cutoff occurs. Unlike competitive systems that are routed through an intermediate call center, 911 Assist places the call directly to the 911 operator to speed response time.*
Safety comes standard
Fusion offers standard AdvanceTrac® electronic stability control, which uses sensors to detect, measure and help reduce side-to-side skidding conditions to help the driver keep the car tracking on its intended path.
Additional standard safety features include six air bags and Ford's Personal Safety System®, BeltMinder® safety belt reminder, the LATCH anchor and tether system for child seats, and Tire Pressure Monitoring System.
*The cell phone or 911 Assist hardware may become damaged in a crash, the vehicle may lose battery power, or the cell phone may be thrown from the vehicle, which could prevent operation. Additionally, not all crashes deploy an airbag or activate the fuel pump shut-off, which are the criteria to initiate 911 Assist.