D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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A completely redesigned 2013 Ford Fusion has been picking up all sorts of kudos among the automotive press since it arrived on the scene in the last few months. New from the ground up, the Fusion model is considered Ford’s most innovative midsize car since the Taurus in the early ’90s.

This makes its recent achievement as a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) even more significant. Ford has suffered in quality ratings due to its high-tech MyFordTouch infotainment system, which uses voice and touch commands to interact with many different Internet-based apps, but the distraction its systems may cause was not a part of the IIHS testing.

IIHS crash testing mainly rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests. It also conducts a collision rollover test and tests injury protection, plus evaluations of seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts, which is a common accident.

What Is Ford’s Belt and Bag Technology?

Ford points to its many new vehicle safety technologies as the reason for the win. Its new safety belt buckle and frontal impact airbags have futuristic computerized brains to know how to assess a crash situation and act accordingly. From a central “chip,” something called the restraint control module (RCM) can translate information from the front crash sensors, front vehicle seat belt buckle switches, driver-seat track position, and passenger seat weight sensor. With all this information, the RCM activates the safety belt pretensioners and determines how the dual-stage front airbags will deploy. All of this technology results in adapting the airbag release to the size of the person.

Airbags have become increasingly complicated in the competitive landscape of safety technology. The strategy Ford is employing seems to create the right airbag to go off for the right-sized person. If the occupant is large, the side airbag lines up with the shoulder, keeping the side airbag solidly inflated. On smaller passengers, the side airbag vents, keeping the firm part of the bag at shoulder height. This is regardless of seat type.

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How Does Ford Fill in Blind Spots?

Other safety features on the all-new Fusion include blind spot information system with a cross-traffic alert for making maneuvering in parking lots and traveling open roadways safer. The Fusion has something called BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) to sound an alert when the car is detected entering a blind spot. Cross-traffic alert warns if traffic is detected approaching from the sides, such as when you are leaving a parking space in reverse.

Is Ford Making It in The Competition?

Ford needed to score this safety test to continue playing in the big game of finding enthusiastic buyers for its mid-size, moderately-priced cars. It’s not just about frontal crash  tests anymore. Drivers want to know they’ll be protected from everyday risks before an accident happens in the first place.

Most of the biggest contenders in this market have won the same honor. Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Chevrolet Malibu, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima and Volkswagen Passat have each won the honor for their latest model year, making crash test scores simply a cost of entry for the segment.

Also, coming in at pricing that undercuts some of the most popular sedans is a smart strategy for Ford. A base Fusion with an Appearance Package lists for $25,745 which is thousands less than a comparable VW Passat.

No doubt Ford is glad to accomplish this safety testing for the Fusion. Still to come are the government tests conducted by the NHTSA, which determine other types of safety. A car that achieves high scores on both these tests is usually in pretty good shape from a safety aspect.

Steve Kenner, Ford’s global safety chief, said that Ford’s safety technology efforts have paid off so far.

“The new Fusion is another example of Ford’s commitment to the highest standards of safety and we are proud that IIHS has recognized these efforts,” Kenner said.

How Can You Get The Best Rates to Protect Your Ford Fusion?

Have you decided a Ford Fusion is the right car for you? Before you start looking at all its safety features for occupant protection, get quotes on insurance. Make sure you’re protecting your financial wellbeing as well. Whether you’re putting your teen driver on the road or replacing your old car and you have a clean driving record, our quote calculator can help you get the rates and coverage you need in one policy.

We can give you options to decide how much coverage you want and what deductible you think is fair. Keep in mind, if you’re financing or leasing your car, your lender may have their own insurance requirements.