Electronic Stability Control To Become Mandatory.

Electronic Stability Control could make rollover accidents a thing of the past. Unfortunately, many car buyers were more interested in CD players, so the government is requiring all automakers to include electronic stability control consistent with the phase-in that commenced on September 1, 2008. The final date for compliance in accordance with guidelines, including control and display requirements, is September 1, 2012.

The government regulation could have the biggest impact on safety since seat belts. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that mandatory ESC systems could save 10,000 lives per year. Meanwhile seat belts save an estimated 15,000 and airbags save 2,500.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that if all vehicles had ESC, fatal single-vehicle crashes would be reduced by fifty-six percent, while all single-vehicle crashes would be reduced by forty percent.

ESC works with anti-lock brakes and other sensors to adjust the speed of your car and apply brake pressure to each individual wheel. The car senses when you are going out of control or about to tip, and makes adjustments automatically; all you have to do is steer.

ESC has been available as an optional add-on for several years now, but was met with a cool reception by buyers. A Consumer Reports survey indicated that consumers are more interested in radios, cd players, and air conditioning than ESC, which only ranked 20th.

“It’s tough trying to sell a safety system like ESC to the end consumer,” said Scott Dahl, a marketing director at Bosch. “They can see the value of an entertainment system, but can’t justify the expense of ESC.”

ESC will add approximately $300 to $600 to the cost of a new vehicle.

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