Nov 30 Computer-controlled braking systems in
cars and light trucks are saving thousands of lives in the
United States, according to a three-year study released on
Friday by federal safety regulators.
The systems have been required on all light-duty trucks and
passenger vehicles under a 2007 federal safety regulation. The
requirement was phased in over the years covered by the U.S.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study.
It estimated that the technology saved more than 2,200 lives
from 2008 through 2010, including 634 in 2008, 705 in 2009 and
863 in 2010.
So-called electronic stability control systems use
computer-controlled braking of individual wheels to help drivers
keep control of a vehicle that is beginning to swerve or lose
All new light vehicles manufactured on or after Sept. 1,
2011 are required to have the system. In May, the NHTSA proposed
a new federal motor vehicle safety standard to require
electronic stability control (ESC) systems on large commercial
trucks and large buses for the first time.
In a statement on Friday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray
LaHood said: "As more vehicles on the road are equipped with ESC
in the coming years, we know the technology will save even more
The agency said applying the technology to the heavy-duty
fleet could prevent up to 56 percent of rollover crashes each
year and 14 percent of loss-of-control crashes in those