Vehicle safety

One of our key obligations is to ensure the safety of our customers and all other road users. Mercedes-Benz experts have been conducting in-house accident research on critical traffic situations and real accidents with Mercedes-Benz vehicles since 1969. That is why our comprehensive “Integral Safety” concept is consistently reconciled with real traffic and accident data. The concept is focused on the synergy between active and passive safety.

Top scores in the Euro NCAP rating. Three Mercedes-Benz models completed the safety tests of the European New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) with top scores: the C-Class sedan, the GLA, and the V-Class. All three models received top scores for occupant and child safety, pedestrian protection, and the safety support through assistance systems in the tests, which had been expanded and intensified compared with the previous year. In addition to the good rating, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class received the Euro NCAP Advanced Reward for two safety systems: the drowsiness detection ATTENTION ASSIST and the anticipatory occupant protection system PRE-SAFE®.

Safety awards for the E-Class and M-Class. In extensive tests, the US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) performs an annual evaluation of the active and passive safety of current vehicle models. In 2014, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and M-Class ranked among the best with top scores in the tests and received a “TOP SAFETY PICK+” distinction.

Accident prevention systems. The effectiveness of accident prevention systems has been repeatedly demonstrated in recent years. A great number of such systems ensure maximum safety in our vehicles.

  • Safety systems in the new C-Class

    Selected safety systems in the new C-Class
    Active Safety
    • Adaptive High Beam Assist enables permanent driving with high beam by masking out other road users in the cone of light.
    • Active Parking Assist enables automatic parking in parallel and perpendicular parking spaces.
    • The further advanced Active Lane Keeping Assist is now also able to intervene if the vehicle unintentionally crosses a broken line and there is traffic in the adjacent lane that would pose a collision risk in the event of a lane change.
    • ATTENTION ASSIST warns the driver of inattentiveness and fatigue within a speed range of 80 to 180 km/h. The system notifies drivers of their current state of fatigue and the driving time since the last break, and indicates nearby service areas.
    • COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS continuously monitors the safety distance to the vehicle ahead, warns the driver if there is a danger of collision, and optimizes the braking power in line with the remaining distance.
    • PRE-SAFE® PLUS recognizes an imminent rear impact and warns the traffic behind the vehicle by activating the rear hazard warning lights. If the danger of a collision persists, the system can also firmly apply the stationary vehicle’s brakes prior to the rear impact. This minimizes the risk of whiplash injuries by reducing the forward jolt caused by the impact while additionally decreasing the risk of secondary accidents. Immediately before impact, the system activates the PRE-SAFE® preventive occupant protection measures, including the reversible belt tensioners.
    • The BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist braking assistance system detects imminent danger situations at intersections and warns the driver to apply the brakes with visual and audible signals. If the driver does not apply the brakes strongly enough, BAS PLUS automatically increases the brake pressure and if necessary even performs a full emergency stop.
    • DISTRONIC PLUS adaptive cruise control relieves the driver by keeping the vehicle at the desired distance from the vehicle ahead if it is driving more slowly than at the selected desired speed.
    • The STEER CONTROL steering assistance system helps the driver to stay centered in the lane by generating the appropriate steering torque when traveling on a straight road and even around slight curves.
    • Traffic Sign Assist expands the capabilities of the previous Speed Limit Assist. The system also recognizes no-passing zones and can warn the driver of “do not enter” zones.
    Passive Safety
    • The PRE-SAFE®system includes a series of preventive measures for the protection of the vehicle occupants in critical driving situations. These include the reversible seatbelt tensioner and adaptive belt force limiter, the PRE-SAFE® positioning function for the front-passenger seat, and automatic closing of the side windows and sunroof or the full-glass roof with outer sliding roof.
    • Newly developed airbags enhance passenger protection. A window airbag in the roof between the A- and C-pillars protects the head area of the driver, front-seat passenger, and passengers seated in the outer rear seats. Combined thorax-pelvis side airbags for the driver and front passenger offer additional protection in the event of a lateral impact. In addition, a knee airbag for the driver and adaptive airbags for the driver and front passenger that can be successively activated in two stages depending on the seat position and force of impact are also available.
    • The pyrotechnical belt tensioners and belt force limiters ensure that the safety belts for the driver, front-seat passenger and rear passengers on the two outer seats develop their full effect. The middle seat in the rear is equipped with a standard 3-point safety belt system.
    • The Mercedes-Benz emergency call system ensures fastest possible help in the event of an accident. It can be activated automatically or manually. The automatic call is triggered as soon as at least one of the airbags in the vehicle has been deployed. The service center then establishes voice contact with the vehicle.
    • A rescue guide with information for helpers instructs rescue workers on rapid and safe rescue procedures: A rescue card for the C-Class is available for free download on the Internet in several languages. In addition, QR code stickers on the vehicle facilitate access to information for the helpers.
    Pedestrian protection
    • The rear section of the Active Hood is raised by up to 80 millimeters when an impact is detected, thus enlarging the deformation space between the hood and the to some extent very hard components in the engine compartment. This can significantly reduce the risk of injury for other people involved in the accident.

Safer through the intersection. The new Brake Assist BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist helps avoid rear-end collisions and collisions with crossing traffic at intersections. With the help of a radar sensor system and a state-of-the-art stereo camera the system can recognize dangerous situations. In the event of danger, it prompts the driver to apply the brakes through visual and audible signals. If the driver does not apply the brakes strongly enough, BAS PLUS automatically increases the braking pressure, including an emergency stop, if necessary. The system is active in the speed range to approx. 70 km/h.

Total visibility in the blind spot as well. Collisions when turning are very frequent and generally have serious consequences. This particularly applies to accidents with trucks and unprotected traffic participants like pedestrians or bicyclists. Blind Spot Assist from Mercedes-Benz helps to prevent such collisions. It gives truck drivers reliable warnings of dangers when turning in situations with limited visibility. Institutions like the German Insurance Association (GDV) assume that Blind Spot Assist could help prevent half of all accidents between trucks and pedestrians or bicyclists. The number of associated deaths could be reduced by nearly a third.

Training programs for greater safety. The EU Directive 2003/59 obligates professional drivers in goods and passenger transport to regularly educate themselves on safety issues. In 2008, Mercedes-Benz was the first truck manufacturer in Germany to offer a government-certified safety training program. Since then we have trained more than 55,000 drivers, and driver training has meanwhile become an integral part of Mercedes-Benz’s training programs.