Virtually no other area inspires the Mercedes-Benz engineers to produce such consistently impressive results as much as research into new safety technologies. The first important safety milestone was reached back in the 1950s with the development of the passenger safety cell, invented by Béla Barényi. Today it is just one of many components of the integral safety concept which edges Mercedes-Benz vehicles ever closer to our vision of accident-free driving.
The majority of accidents start long before the actual collision: with a lapse in concentration, poor visibility or hazards which cannot be anticipated. That's why the Mercedes-Benz safety concept employs a range of measures to support safe driving in everyday operation and to help you bring critical situations under control.
DISTRONIC PLUS automatically maintains a specified distance from the vehicle ahead and greatly helps minimise the risk of rear-end collisions by identifying potentially dangerous situations and reacting accordingly. As the sensors can operate between 0.2 and 200 metres, the system is also helpful in city traffic or stop-and-go traffic. It can brake the vehicle to a standstill when necessary and also accelerate it again.
In stop-and-go traffic, DISTRONIC PLUS applies the brakes automatically – if necessary, until the vehicle comes to a complete stop. Automatic braking is applied with a deceleration of up to 4 m/s². When the traffic situation improves, DISTRONIC PLUS automatically accelerates to the preset speed.
Should DISTRONIC PLUS register that heavy braking is required, an intermittent warning tone is sounded and a warning symbol lights up on the instrument cluster. This alerts the driver to pay close attention and apply the brakes if necessary. To move off again after coming to a complete stop, all you need to do is pull the cruise control lever or tap the accelerator.
The bi-xenon headlamps with automatic headlamp range adjustment provide higher brightness values, a larger light range and wider illumination of the road surface than conventional headlamps. The integrated headlamp cleaning system is a simple and effective means of keeping the headlamps clean.
Brake Assist (BAS) can protect against the risk of accidents. The system can recognise emergency braking from the speed at which the braking pedal is depressed and supply full braking power automatically. Activating the HOLD function by stepping on the brake pedal (depressing firmly) keeps the vehicle from rolling unintentionally when stopped at a light or in stop-and-go traffic.
The LED daytime running lamps, thanks to their extreme brightness, can be seen from a long way off by day as well; and they thus increase driving safety. They are integrated into the headlamp bracket underneath the headlamps and consist of five light emitting diodes each on teh right and left. LED daytime running lamps use noticeably less energy than low-beam headlamps, and also give the vehicle a striking appearance.
The electronic parking aid monitors the front and rear of the vehicle during manoeuvring and warns the driver of potential collisions.
PARKTRONIC operates on the echo sounder principle. The electronic control unit uses ultrasonic signals received by sensors installed in front and rear bumpers to determine the distance between the obstacle and vehicle. Both the rear and front areas are monitored when reversing, but only the front when moving forwards.
Active Blind Spot Assist expands the driver’s range of vision. Operating at speeds between 30 and 210 km/h, the system monitors the blind spot area behind the vehicle as well as to the left and right. If a vehicle is detected in the monitored area, a warning signal appears in the relevant exterior mirror. The visual display is complemented by an audible warning sound when the driver activates the indicator.
Cars from Mercedes-Benz have a host of safety systems to prevent accidents. Should the worst come to the worst, however, a number of occupant safety measures can be activated. They include protection for the vehicle occupants as well as for other road users.
The airbags fitted as standard for the driver and front passenger provide protection for the occupants’ upper torso in a collision, and also afford additional stability to the entire body. They are thus able to reduce the severity of injuries sustained in an accident. If the crash sensors sense a collision, the airbag is deployed.
Adjustable for the driver and front passenger, NECK-PRO luxury head restraints can be activated in the event of a rear-end collision thereby helping to reduce the risk of sustaining a whiplash injury. If a collision occurs, they can provide head support and reduce the load on the spine at an early stage by employing a spring mechanism to thrust the head restraints forward and upwards. The restraints can be returned manually to the original position after activation.
To reduce consequential damage after an accident and support the work of the rescue services, a number of different actions are initiated, depending on the type and severity of the accident: