Electronic Stability Control Saves Lives

Study says occupants safer in vehicles equipped with electronic stability control.

Posted in News

— A new study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that electronic stability control (ESC) technology probably saved over 860 lives in 2010. The figure includes occupants of cars and light trucks/vans.

NHTSA said the estimate is an increase over the 705 lives saved in 2009 and 634 people who were saved by ESC in 2008.

ESC is a federally mandated system required in all new passenger cars, light trucks, SUVs, and vans built since 2011.

What is Electronic Stability Control?

ESC systems, also known as dynamic stability control, vehicle stability control and traction control systems, use computer controlled braking of each wheel to help the driver maintain control if the vehicle begins to lose stability at the rear wheels or starts to lose control at the front wheels.

It plays an important role in reducing single-vehicle crashes where a vehicle loses control and runs off the road. ESC can help to prevent the sideways skidding and loss of control that can lead to rollover accidents, especially in a one-vehicle crash.

It can help an SUV that makes an emergency turn to avoid an object in the road, but the technology won’t help with something like a fender-bender.  It's designed to help a driver in the event of loss of control at high speed or when making a sharp turn on a wet road.

Insurance companies favor the technology because statistics show a 15 percent drop in losses under collision coverage for vehicles equipped with ESC.

An Increase in Vehicle Technology

You're surrounded by it, but how much do you really know about all the new technology in your vehicle?  Check out any of the following.