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Insurance Institute: ESC Benefits Equal to Safety Belts/Airbags

July 25, 2006

ARLINGTON, VA – The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently updated its study on the effectiveness of electronic stability control (ESC) and found that ESC reduces the risk of all single-vehicle crashes by more than 40 percent — and fatal ones by 56 percent. The study shows that ESC could prevent nearly one-third of all fatal crashes and reduce rollover risk by as much as 80 percent.Susan Ferguson, senior vice president for research, said that ESC is second only to safety belts in terms of life-saving benefits.IIHS estimated that if all new vehicles sold in the U.S. were equipped with ESC, 10,000 fatal crashes could be prevented each year. Currently, ESC comes standard on 40 percent of 2006 models and is optional on another 15 percent.Earlier IIHS research on ESC showed significant benefits in terms of reducing the rate of fatal single-vehicle crashes. The updated findings contained data from an additional year of crashes and more vehicle models.ESC technology is called by different names among manufacturers — including Stabilitrak, AdvanceTrac, Vehicle Skid Control, and Dynamic Stability Control — making it difficult for consumers to know whether the vehicle they own or the one they’re shopping for has the system.
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