More than 2,200 Lives Saved by Electronic Stability Control, NHTSA Estimates

That many people were saved just from 2008 to 2010, the agency reported Nov. 30.

Electronic stability control technology (ESC) is saving more people each year, according to a study released Nov. 30 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It estimates ESC saved 2,202 lives from 2008 to 2010 after being mandated on all light-duty trucks and passenger vehicles by a 2007 federal safety regulation that was phased in over the years. It applies to new light vehicles manufactured on or after Sept. 1, 2011.

"These numbers send a clear message about this technology's life-saving potential," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "As more vehicles on the road are equipped with ESC in the coming years, we know the technology will save even more lives."

ESC systems use computer-controlled braking of individual wheels. They study estimates this technology saved 634 lives in 2008, 705 lives in 2009, and 863 lives in 2010. "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.

Last May, NHTSA proposed a new federal motor vehicle safety standard to require ESC systems on large commercial trucks and large buses; the agency predicts it could prevent up to 56 percent of rollover crashes each year plus 14 percent of loss-of-control crashes in those vehicles.

Visit this page to read the "Estimating Lives Saved by Electronic Stability Control, 2008-2010" report.

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