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Electronic stability control saves drivers' lives

Safety features in U.S. vehicles can vary and having a vehicle with electronic stability control may mean the difference between life and death for some drivers. A new study found that electronic stability control systems have saved over 2,000 lives between 2008 and 2010, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The NHTSA believes that requiring all vehicles to have electronic stability control will continue to save lives by decreasing fatal car accidents throughout the country. The NHTSA mandate requires all vehicles made on or after Sept. 1, 2011 must have electronic stability control technology in the vehicle.

Electronic stability control (ESC) is a technology program that can help drivers maintain control of their vehicle. ESC uses computer-controlled braking the second the system senses that the vehicle's wheels are beginning to lose directional control.

Many passenger vehicles have ESC; some even had the technology before the mandate. Since more vehicles have ESC, the NHTSA recently reported that the technology saved 634 lives in 2008, 705 lives in 2009 and 863 lives in 2010, which is a total of 2,202 lives save by this technology.

Research has shown that ESC systems help many drivers prevent vehicle rollovers, running off the road and other crashes that are very dangerous when they occur at high speeds or on U.S. highways.

The NHTSA encourages consumers to check and see if their current vehicle has ESC technology. They also recommend that when drivers are looking for a used vehicle to verify if the car has ESC or not. It has been proven that this vehicle technology helps to reduce serious and fatal car accidents so drivers would be wise to consider driving a vehicle with this life-saving technology.

Source: MSN Autos, "Stability control saving lives, NHTSA study finds," Douglas Newcomb, Dec. 5, 2012

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