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Effect of electronic stability control on automobile crash risk

Farmer, Charles M.
Traffic Injury Prevention (TIP)
December 2004

Per vehicle crash involvement rates were compared for otherwise identical vehicle models with and without electronic stability control (ESC) systems. ESC was found to affect single-vehicle crashes to a greater extent than multiple-vehicle crashes, and crashes with fatal injuries to a greater extent than less severe crashes. Based on all police-reported crashes in 7 states over 2 years, ESC reduced single-vehicle crash involvement risk by approximately 41 percent (95 percent confidence limits 33-48) and single-vehicle injury crash involvement risk by 41 percent (27-52). This translates to an estimated 7 percent reduction in overall crash involvement risk (3-10) and a 9 percent reduction in overall injury crash involvement risk (3-14). Based on all fatal crashes in the United States over 3 years, ESC was found to have reduced single-vehicle fatal crash involvement risk by 56 percent (39-68). This translates to an estimated 34 percent reduction in overall fatal crash involvement risk (21-45).