Rollovers are some of the most dangerous accidents on our roads today. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately two-thirds of all fatalities involving truck occupants are caused by rollover accidents and 31% of all fatalities are due to SUV rollover.
Now, a new federal study by the NHTSA reports 2,200 lives saved by electronic stability control (ESC) systems between 2008 and 2010. As a result of this study, federal safety regulators are pushing consumers who are buying used cars to choose one with stability control in mind.
They’re also proposing new regulations that would require the installation of electronic stability control technology in heavy trucks and buses.
Electronic Stability Control and Your Safety
The NHTSA notes that ESC systems are especially effective in:
Maintaining vehicle control
Keeping a vehicle on its intended path during a turn
Avoiding sliding or skidding
Reducing the risk of running off the road
Avoiding vehicle rollovers
Assisting truck drivers in eluding jack-knife style accidents
The study found that ESC reduced single car accidents in passenger cars by 35% over cars without the technology and single car accidents in SUV models were reduced by 67% in those with ESC. What’s more compelling is the fact that ESC was associated with a 30% reduction in passenger car fatalities, and 63% for SUVs.
How Does Electronic Stability Control Work?
ESC systems use computers to sense when a driver is most at risk of losing control and apply the braking system to individual wheels, increasing and maintaining vehicle traction. The NHTSA predicts that the widespread use of ESC systems could prevent 56% of rollover crashes and 14% of all “loss-of-control” crashes involving heavy trucks and buses.