According to a recent study released by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the federally-mandated electronic stability control (ESC) technology is saving an increasing number of lives each year.
Under a federal safety regulation issued in 2007, ESC became mandatory on all light-duty trucks and passenger vehicles, with the requirement getting phased in over the recent years. The requirement applied to all light vehicles manufactured on or after September 1, 2011, and the technology has saved 2,202 lives from 2008 to 2010 alone.
According to data in the study, 634 lives were saved in 2008, 705 lives were saved in 2009, and 863 lives were saved in 2010 – showing a continual increase over the recent years. ESC systems found in modern vehicles use a computer-controlled braking of individual wheels to help drivers maintain control of a vehicle as it begins to lose directional control and/or stability, potentially avoiding a serious accident.
“NHTSA research has consistently shown ESC systems are especially effective in helping a driver maintain vehicle control and avoid some of the most dangerous types of crashes on the highway, including deadly vehicle rollover situations or in keeping drivers from completely running off the roadway,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland.