Safety features are huge selling points when it comes to buying a car. Whether it's new or used, you want your automobile to be safe and reliable. Sure, everyone knows about seatbelts and airbags – two of the most important safety inventions in recent memory.
But what about Electronic Stability Control – otherwise known as ESC? With technology advancing as quickly as it does, this amazing safety feature might have flown right under your radar – until now.
Electronic Stability Control is a system that adjusts the speed and braking of each individual wheel as your car loses traction on the road. It uses a number of complex systems, from your car's ABS to traction control, ensuring that you maintain control.
ESC uses the anti-lock braking system in your car by applying it to each wheel individually as needed.
For example: If your front passenger tire begins to spin on ice – but your other 3 wheels have traction – it will automatically brake that spinning wheel. Then, ESC will transfer power to the remaining wheels with traction.
But that's just one part of it.
ESC also measures how far the steering wheel is turned and will adjust to correct for over-steering or under-steering. In fact, there are sensors in your steering column that measure the rotation of your steering wheel against a computer-projected line that your car's system creates. If your car isn't travelling along that computer-generated line, then the car is sliding to the left or right and ESC takes over.
For many in the automotive field, ESC is one of the greatest advancements in safety since the seatbelt. National Highway and Traffic Safety Association concluded that Electronic Stability Control is so effective that it reduces crashes by 35% or more.
Beyond dropping the number of crashes, it also drastically lessens the severity of unavoidable crashes. An Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study stated that ESC reduced all fatal accidents by 45%, fatal single-car accidents by 56%, and fatal single-car rollover accidents by an incredible 77-80%.
Most recently, car manufacturers have been putting ESC into all of their top product lines. In the case of SUVs – one of the most popular car models in America – it was determined that Electronic Stability Control resulted in 67% fewer accidents.
Since 2012, all passenger vehicles in the United States are required to have ESC built into them. However, since it's a modern technology that's only recently been adopted by major car manufacturers, there's a chance that an older car might not have it.
Consult your owner's manual if you're car is older than 2012, and you aren't sure if you have ESC. If you're in the market for a car – or if you're considering buy a car for your teenage driver – make sure you inquire about Electronic Stability Control. It's encouraged for teen drivers especially.
We understand that accidents still happen no matter how many safety features your car has working for it. If you've been injured in an auto accident, get a free legal consultation when you need it the most.
We're standing by 24/7, and we're here to help.