Mercedes-Benz Sprinter: Safety Pioneer for 25 Years

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Source: Mercedes-Benz announcement

STUTTGART, Germany – In 1995 Mercedes-Benz presented a newly developed van that quickly advanced to become the reference model, characterizing an entire vehicle category. From the start of its development it was clear that both active and passive safety would be central components of the vehicle concept.

Since then the Sprinter has maintained its pioneer role in this discipline without interruption. This starts with its handling which is like that of a passenger car and through to its “hard” technology such as ABS and airbags as well as the latest generation of driving assistance systems. Thus, now in its third generation, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter continues to consistently raise the bar for other vans.

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1995: even the very first Sprinter has extensive safety technology

In 1995 no other van offered more safety features. The package included disk brakes all-around, an ABS anti-lock braking system as standard, automatic brake differential, a driver airbag on request, three-point seat belts adjustable in height and seat belt buckles attached to the seat.

The comfortable suspension and passenger-car-like handling are also features that must not be underestimated. That is because: drivers who are more relaxed, remain alert for longer and thus drive more safely. This is the basis for the Sprinter’s reputation as an epitome of safety.

And development does not stop there: in 2000 the Sprinter is given more powerful headlamps as part of an extensive facelift. In addition to active safety, Mercedes-Benz continues to advance passive safety too. The driver airbag is now included in the standard equipment while a co-driver airbag is optionally available. The double airbag is particularly large and also protects the passenger occupying the inner seat of a co-driver bench seat.

The driver cockpit is also redesigned to maintain the driver’s level of fitness: the cockpit now has the appearance of a passenger car. The gear stick is redesigned as a control lever and relocated to an easy-to-reach height; this further improves ergonomics – and in turn safety. The next safety feature is introduced in 2001: windowbags are now also available.

In 2002 the Sprinter sets the benchmark yet again with ESP® installed as standard

In 2002 the Sprinter is further refined. New features include a more powerful brake booster and the Electronic Stability Program ESP®, installed as standard initially in the closed variant of the Sprinter up to a gross vehicle mass of 3.5 t. ESP® is a revolution in the safety technology of vans because it can actively assist the driver in critical driving situations.

Two years later ESP® is included in the standard equipment of all Sprinter chassis up to a gross vehicle mass of 3.5 t. A measure with results: in the following years, the statistics show accidents caused by the vehicle “leaving the roadway” to be drastically reduced. Just one year later, the “Van Training on Tour” complements technical aspects with driver instruction.

The complete announcement can be viewed by clicking HERE.

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