Stability control is a sophisticated braking control system which allows a vehicle to sense tire slide. Stability control systems prevent vehicles from getting out of control, which may lead to a rollover. The computer system, by use of sensors, can monitor how well the vehicle is responding to a driver’s steering input. If a vehicle starts straying from its intended line of travel, which can occur in high-speed maneuvers or on slippery roads, the electronic stability control (ECS) applies the brakes for the individual wheels, which causes the vehicle to stay under control.
Over 15,000 people die each year from single vehicle crashes. Two-thirds of single vehicle crashes are rollovers. A new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that stability control systems could reduce the likelihood of a fatal single vehicle crash by 56%. Thousands of lives could be saved each year with this technology. According to an Institute for Highway Safety study, ECS can reduce the risk of involvement in single vehicle crashes by more than 50%. The system is less effective in multiple vehicle crashes. The Institute researchers analyzed crash reports from seven states over two years. They also studied the Federal Fatal Analysis Reporting System or FARS data. The study isolated cars and SUV’s that had ECS equipment versus vehicles without the equipment. Some car manufacturers have been using stability control devices for about ten years. Others are just now starting to recognize the value of the system.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also performed a study and found a 35% reduction in single vehicle crash risk for cars and a 67% reduction for sport utility vehicles. The fatal single vehicle crashes were reduced by about 30% for cars and 63% for SUV’s. The Insurance Institute projected that if all vehicles in the U. S. had ECS, about 800,000 single vehicle crashes could be avoided which would save more than 7,000 lives each year.
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