Electronic Stability Control Coalition (ESCC) Applauds Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Study on Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

Vehicles With the Auto Safety Feature Reduced Fatal Single-Vehicle Crash Risk By 56%

Study Adds to Extensive Evidence Confirming ESC's Ability to Prevent Crashes And Save Thousands of Lives

DETROIT, Oct. 29 -- The Electronic Stability Control (ESC) Coalition applauds the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) new research study, which found the auto safety system, Electronic Stability Control (ESC) effective in reducing the risk of fatal passenger vehicle crashes by 34 percent and, as a result, has the potential to save thousands of lives annually. The results affirm those from previous studies including one sponsored by the ESCC and a similar study conducted recently by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Announced on Thursday, the IIHS study concluded that ESC reduced fatal single-vehicle crash risk by 56 percent and the risk of all single-vehicle crashes (fatal and non-fatal) by 41 percent. Therefore, according to the IIHS, "widespread application of ESC in the vehicle fleet can be expected to afford a significant safety benefit."

IIHS researchers compared the crash rates of cars and SUVs with ESC as standard equipment versus prior versions of these vehicles when they weren't equipped with ESC or ESC was available only as an option.

"This new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is important in that it is consistent with other studies and with the efforts of the ESC Coalition to educate consumers about the importance of ESC," said Rich Golitko, Chairman of the ESC Coalition. "By backing this and other existing studies that have proven the safety system's benefits, the IIHS data improves the auto safety landscape for consumers by leaps and bounds."

This past September, NHTSA released its own comparative study that concluded ESC reduced single-vehicle crashes in passenger cars by 35 percent, and also reduced, by 67 percent, single-vehicle crashes in SUVs.

Overall, the effectiveness of ESC has been well-documented in the U.S. and abroad. The University of Iowa found, in a study conducted via the National Advanced Driving Simulator, that 34 percent more drivers maintained control of their vehicles with ESC than without. Previous observational studies-from the Swedish National Road Administration; Mercedes-Benz and DEKRA Automotive Research in Germany; the European Accident Causation; and Toyota in Japan-had shown that ESC could help prevent 15 percent of all crashes and 30 to 35 percent of single-vehicle crashes.

The IIHS data, along with these other ESC studies, indicate the system's enormous worth as it points to its capability of saving more than 7,000 lives annually.

"Now that additional studies provide proof that ESC can prevent crashes, we hope that consumers see it as a must-have feature when they consider the purchase of a new vehicle," said Golitko.

What is ESC:

ESC is an active safety equipment 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.

ESC is marketed under various trade names, which can be found at http://www.esceducation.org/. The 2005 Model Vehicles list is available on the website to educate consumers on the diverse vehicles equipped with ESC that will be available next year.

ESC Coalition Mission Statement

The Electronic Stability Control (ESC) Coalition was formed in 2003 with the mission of educating consumers and other key audiences about the revolutionary active safety technology known as ESC. The ESC Coalition members believe that the widespread installation of ESC systems can play a significant role in helping to prevent crashes on America's roads. The Coalition seeks to increase the public's general awareness of this milestone in automotive safety. Through a national education campaign, the ESC Coalition aims to provide consumers with comprehensive information on ESC, including educational materials, technical data, video demonstrations, industry studies, and news about ESC.

For additional information on the ESC Coalition, please visit http://www.esceducation.org/.

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