Have you ever seen a high-speed car chase where the driver weaves in and out of traffic? Or perhaps, you have been in a situation where you’ve had to quickly veer around obstacles at highway speeds. If you have seen it happen or experienced it yourself then you know how dangerous it is. Studies show in most cases when a vehicle is traveling at a high rate of speed and is made to turn suddenly or is made to steer around obstacles the likelihood it will remain upright is slim.
It’s an issue car manufacturers are now addressing. Companies like General Motors have introduced Stabilitrak–a new technology that could save your life. Its official name is electronic stability control, or ESC. And it’s supposed to drastically reduce the number of fatal car accidents in America. Since I experienced a horrific travel incident earlier this year I thought, perhaps this would be something I should consider getting. I did some research and here’s what I found:
A consumer watchdog group recently put the ESC to the test. The driver gunned the test car through a course littered with obstacles… without using brakes. He experienced some slipping and sliding, but little else, which I was told, means it’s working. So just how does it work? The company that designs the project says basically, when you are driving down the road, and it senses the vehicle is about to go out of control, it takes control. The technology activates the car’s breaking mechanism without someone having to manually step on the brakes. Essentially, it helps stabilize the vehicle so it doesn’t flip over with you and your loved ones in it.
The product was also tested on police vehicles. Officers who tested the cars equipped with the technology raved about it. They said they could actually feel the ESC working and were amazed that the equipment was able to take over the braking system as the vehicle began to skid. One officer remarked that the ESC system kept his car upright and in control, which would help drivers avoid accidents.
In fact, studies by the federal government show if every car on the road today was equipped with the new technology thousands of lives could be saved each year. Virtually every carmaker offers some form of technology as an added (not standard) feature. Meanwhile, GM plans to make it standard in every vehicle by 2010.
Is this a product you would be interested in having in your car?