National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs
Washington, D.C. - The National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Mark Rosenker today applauded the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for their efforts to require auto manufacturers to install electronic stability control (ESC). "This proposal is certainly a step towards saving lives on our highways," said Rosenker. "We commend NHTSA for recognizing the role technology can play in improving highway safety."
In 2003, the Safety Board recommended that NHTSA expand its current evaluation of electronic stability control systems and determine their potential for assisting drivers in maintaining control of passenger cars, light trucks, sport utility vehicles, and vans. Also, the Board urged NHTSA to include in the evaluation an accident data analysis of electronic stability control-equipped vehicles in the U. S. fleet. Finally, the Board asked NHTSA to mandate their use if the evaluation results were favorable.
ESC systems use automatic computer-controlled braking of individual wheels to help the driver maintain control in situations where a vehicle without ESC would skid out of control and likely leave the road. Nearly all rollover crashes occur after a vehicle leaves the road. A 2004 study by NHTSA estimated that ESC reduced fatalities in single-vehicle crashes by 30 percent for passenger cars and 63 percent for SUVs. Rosenker also commended the automobile manufacturers who have ESC systems already in their automobiles and those who have voluntarily committed to putting the system in their upcoming models.
The proposed rule, announced today, would require all manufacturers to begin equipping passenger vehicles under 10,000 pounds with ESC starting with the 2009 model year and to have the feature available as standard equipment on all vehicles by the 2012 model year (September 2011).
Details of this and other Board recommendations can be found at: www.ntsb.gov.
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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.