According to a new study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), stability control has made cars much safer, lowering fatal accidents by eighteen percent. The government study used statistics from 1997 to 2009 to assess the effectiveness of stability control systems. The study also noted in 2005, less than twenty percent of new vehicles were sold with the feature. By 2007, legislation was passed to require electronic software in all 2012 models.
Stability control consists of sensors in the vehicle that detect roll and wheel slip and adjust braking and power to compensate for loss of control.
“In many ways, ESC (electronic stability control) is an ideal crash avoidance technology,” the study said in its summary. “Because it acts so quickly and without driver input it can prevent a crash without the driver of the vehicle being aware that the system has intervened.”