Chinese auto manufacturers are being commended for their dedication to improving car safety with their commitment to including Electronic Stability Control (ESC) systems in all new vehicles beginning in Jan. 2018. ESC is an anti-skid technology that prevents vehicles from spinning out of control. It has been so successful at preventing car accidents and saving lives that the Global New Car Assessment Program (NCAP)’s Stop the Crash Partnership is calling it the most important automobile safety feature since the seatbelt.
Manufacturers Banding Together
The top 12 auto manufacturers in China that have committed to making ESC a standard in all new vehicles represent 85 percent of all Chinese automakers. A spokesperson for the China Automotive Technology and Research Center believes the move will encourage other countries around the world to fit their new vehicles with this life saving technology before it becomes a mandatory requirement. Both the United States and the European Union have made the technology mandatory since 2012.
ESC, also known as Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Vehicle Stability Enhancement (VSE), use computer technology that initiates the braking of individual wheels when a car begins to lose traction or stability. According to a recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 2,200 lives were saved by ESC between 2008 and 2010. U.S. federal safety regulations required all light-duty trucks and passenger vehicles to have ESC systems installed in all cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans made on or after Sept. 1, 2011.
Statistical analysis conducted by the NHTSA shows that ESC systems prevent serious and often fatal rollover accidents as well as those that occur when a driver runs off the road after spinning out of control on icy roadways or during quick correction maneuvers. As more and more new vehicles replace older vehicles on the road, the NTSB predicts that the rate of fatal and serious car accidents caused by loss of control will be significantly reduced because of the mandatory ESC systems.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommends that ESC systems also be required in commercial vehicles. According to data collected by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), nearly 500 fatal commercial vehicle crashes are prevented each year by ESC systems installed in commercial fleet vehicles.
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