Escaping Rollover Accidents with ESC: It Depends

There is always a drive to come up with new ways to prevent automobile accidents, which persists as the leading cause of deaths in the US despite the downward trend of fatal accidents. According to the website of the Habush Law Offices, rollovers are the cause of about one-third of all fatal vehicle crashes, so it is obviously a good place to start innovating safer technology. Non-fatal rollover accidents still result in serious injuries that are nearly as bad for the victims.

A recent innovation for vehicles that was believed to prevent a significant number of rollover accidents was introduced into the market. Referred to as electronic stability control (ESC), or electronic stability program, this is basically a program that is designed to detect when there is a loss of steering control, triggering it to automatically apply the brakes selectively, depending on the type of loss of control. It is particularly aimed to detect when a vehicle skids, such as when navigating a sharp curve at high speeds. This is a common cause of rollovers, and ESC is designed to minimize this.

However, it would be misleading to believe that ESC will help prevent rollover accidents in general. ESC is designed to improve steering control, which most typically results in untripped or first event rollovers. When a vehicle equipped with ESC collides with another vehicle, resulting in a tripped rollover, the ESC will not be effective in preventing a rollover accident. Nevertheless, having ESC and some other safety features in your car might help reduce your auto insurance costs.

Moreover, since only newer vehicles (2009 onwards) are equipped with ESC, those with older vehicles will not benefit from the innovation. But it is admittedly 56% effective in preventing untripped or first event rollover crashes for vehicles equipped with ESC according to a study undertaken by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, so this is definitely an improvement that contributes to greater safety on the road.

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