Loss of Control and Electronic Stability Control
When a vehicle spins out of control, bad things happen. Loss of stability can result in an unnecessary rollover or a collision with oncoming traffic. Some vehicles are unstable and spin much more easily than others. Vehicles with short and narrow wheel bases are particularly prone to directional instability.
Since the early 90s, the car manufacturing industry has known of a solution that substantially reduces the risk of a driver losing control. The solution is generically known as Electronic Stability Control (ESC). This solution evolved from the technology that made anti-lock brakes possible. ESC senses when a vehicle is moving in a direction other than the direction of the steering input. ESC also senses the car spinning or in a “yaw” condition. Without any input from the driver, ESC causes selective braking on the appropriate wheels and in some cases changes the amount of engine drive to the wheels. This passive braking and engine control keeps the vehicle moving along the driver’s intended path and can prevent a loss of control. Studies have shown that vehicles, particularly SUVs, equipped with ESC are involved in as much as 80% fewer single vehicle fatalities.
Safety experts, including officials with the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, have hailed ESC as the most effective safety device in vehicles since the seatbelt. In spite of ESC’s effectiveness in preventing serious crashes, rollovers, injuries and deaths, the auto industry has been slow to offer ESC even as optional equipment. There are many vehicles built in this country after the effectiveness of ESC was known that are not equipped with ESC. For some reason, car manufacturers have even been nearly silent about warning their consumers of the relative dangers of their vehicles with ESC and without ESC even when it is available as optional equipment.
The team at Brent Coon and Associates understands this technology and we have experts at our disposal that can determine if a loss of control and the resulting crash could have been prevented had the vehicle been equipped with ESC. If you or someone you care about has been seriously injured or killed in a crash or rollover that was caused by an initial loss of control, contact us for a free consultation. We want to help you and do our part to encourage the car industry to make ESC standard equipment on all vehicles.