The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Vehicles Safer With Electronic Stability Control

March 22, 2004

A new research study conducted by the University of Iowa said vehicles equipped with Electronic Stability Program (ESP) showed 34 percent more drivers held control of their vehicles in would-be crash scenarios when compared with drivers in vehicles without ESP.

Using the National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) owned by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and operated by the University of Iowa, simulations of oncoming vehicles, wind gust and curve departure were tested. The results show that vehicles equipped with ESP systems provide a significant safety benefit by helping drivers maintain control of their vehicle.

The results found ESP can reduce the risk of losing control by as much as 88 percent, which equates to an increase of 34 percent in the number of drivers who maintained control of their vehicles with the ESP system activated.

ESP is an active safety system that helps drivers maintain control of their vehicle and prevent crashes before they occur. The system detects when a driver is about to lose control of a vehicle and automatically intervenes to provide stability and help the driver stay on course.

Sensors detect when the vehicle path differs from that which is intended. ESP compares steering and brake inputs versus actual wheel speed, yaw rate and lateral acceleration. Sensors apply independent wheel braking and engine torque reduction. On a test track, in a J-turn test, ESP prevents fishtailing. About 10 percent of vehicles sold last year were equipped with ESP. It is either optional or standard on some feature packages.

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