The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Consumer Reports, the federal government, and many other auto industry experts say electronic stability control is the most important auto safety innovation since seat belts. “Our recommendation to consumers is that you want to buy a vehicle with electronic stability control,” said David Zuby, a vice president of the Insurance Institute. “It’s a very effective way of reducing the risk of fatal crashes.” 100 percent of vehicles must have it by 2012 which may prevent thousands of deaths each year. According to Insurance Institute research, half of fatalities occur in single-vehicle crashes, and 50 percent of those are preventable using ESC. MercuryNews.com writes:
The U.S. Department of Transportation, as well as the Insurance Institute, a nonprofit researcher funded by insurers, has done much of the research related to stability control. ESC will reduce single-vehicle fatal crash risk by 51 percent, and multiple-vehicle fatal crash risk by 20 percent for cars and SUVs, the institute says.
The technology is particularly useful on sport-utility vehicles, which tend to be top-heavy and more prone to rolling over. ESC reduces the risk of a fatal single-vehicle rollover in an SUV by 72 percent, according to the institute. About 10,000 Americans die each year in rollover accidents.