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The latest Ford B-MAX will help motorists avoid accidents during city driving, the manufacturer claims.

Figures city car crashes in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain result in half a million injuries a year, with around one-in-eight of those hurt involved in slow-speed, rear-end shunts.

But thanks to the B-MAX's Active City Stop system, injuries to drivers as well as the need to buy Ford spare parts to replace those damaged by such accidents could be significantly reduced, says Ford.

The technology monitors the traffic ahead and is able to detect if a collision with a vehicle in front is imminent, in which case it will automatically apply the brakes.

Ford claims that tests prove the system is able to prevent collisions at speeds up to 10mph, and reduce the severity of impacts at speeds as high as 18mph.

Ford first launched Active City Stop on the Focus last year, but this is the first time it has been made available with one of the manufacturer's compact vehicles.

Roland Schaefer, safety analyst at Ford of Europe, stressed the often overlooked danger that impacts at low speeds can pose to drivers.

"You don't have to be travelling fast to get injured. Even at speeds of just 10mph you can suffer soft tissue neck injury," he said.

The new B-Max also possesses a number of other high-tech safety devices, designed with reducing accidents on congested city roads in mind.

These include a Hill Launch Assist system, which prevents the car from rolling back when the driver attempts a hill start or parks the B-Max on a slope.

It also comes with a rear-view camera, which helps the driver to carry out manoeuvres in small spaces and park in tight spots.