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Ford braking demo: How to stay on the curved and narrow

KYALAMI, South Africa – Two  Ford Fiestas were centre-stage during a ‘Stop the Crash‘  show hosted by the Global New Car Assessment Programme and the Automobile Association to make governments declare automatic crash avoidance mandatory on new vehicles.

One such is electronic stability control, a system reported to have prevented 260 000 vehicle collisions in Europe from 1995-2015 (according to Bosch, which supplies such systems).

ESC uses wheel rotation sensors to detect and regain loss of traction and uncontrolled skidding – an ”active safety feature” which, working with anti-lock brakes, will obey the driver’s steering demands.

WATCH THIS anti-lock braking demo video

Two Ford Fiesta cars were used at Johannesburg’s Kyalami racetrack to demonstrate emergency crash-avoidance steering manoeuvres – and what happens with/without ESC.

The system constantly compares the driver’s steering position and the direction of the car. If the two as out-of-synch it will massage the accelerator and brakes to re-establish directional control.

Net result: less understeer (front wheels running wide) and/or oversteer (when the rear wheels lose traction and the car’s tail slides outward).


Doreen Mashinini, marketing boss with Ford Southern Africa, told The Corner: “The demonstration was an eye-opener. South Africa has one of the world’s the worst records for vehicle collisions, injuries, and deaths.

”Everybody should take notice of such campaigns. We’re glad our vehicles took part.”

ESC is in addition to active driving aids on various Ford models – traction control and gradient start assistance during which it applies the brakes briefly but frequently, and gradient descent control (as on Ford’s Ranger and Everest) which does the same.

READ MORE Ford features on Carman’s Corner

Every new Ford has anti-lock brakes: the system brakes hard, but very frequently, to maintain steering direction during an emergency stop.

Seat-restraints with pre-tensioners, crash mitigation bags, side-impact beams, IsoFix child-seat anchors, and a reinforced safety cell are crucial to protect driver and passengers during a collision.


Ford’s provides free driver-training through Ford Driving Skills for Life. More than a million people in 40 countries have undergone one. In the Middle East and Africa region through 2018 more than 1600 drivers benefited from training on hazard recognition, vehicle handling, speed management, and space management.

The Ford Driving Skills for Life programme has been introduced in eight sub-Sahara countries so far: South Africa, Nigeria, Angola, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Madagascar.

Strange name for the project: After all, there is no crash to stop until it has happened – and by then it is too late… – Ed

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