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Impact: Real Drivers. Life-Changing Stories.

Explore unscripted accounts of survival and newfound perspective

Dr. Joseph J. Sesta

Fort Sill, Oklahoma

“There was no time to brake, only the split-second recognition that an impact was imminent, followed by the sound of the air bags deploying.”
Mercedes ML500 Safety and Protection

We were on our way home from dinner on a two-lane dirt road that runs through farmland. The road ahead was clear until a 2,000-pound cow that had gotten out of its pasture through a broken fence suddenly ran out in front of our ML500. There was no time to brake, only the split-second recognition that an impact was imminent, followed by the sound of the air bags deploying.

Despite the extensive damage from the front-end collision, we were still able to drive the car safely to the side of the road. The Automatic Collision Notification sent the local police our GPS coordinates, which was invaluable as we were in a very rural area and would not have been able to give our precise location. Once out, we were surprised that besides being mentally shaken by the accident, we literally emerged without a scratch.

The ML500 had distributed the force of the impact so well that we barely touched the air bags — and the seats provided excellent neck and back support, so we had none of the soft-tissue or whiplash injuries so common in collisions. As a doctor specializing in neurological disease and brain injury, I actually purchased my ML500 after seeing a patient in a severe accident with fatalities also emerge without any significant injury… Little did I know my decision would later become a life-saving one. Thanks for making a car that does everything your commercials say it can do to protect passengers in an accident.

Learn more about the 2011 M-Class

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