There is no denying that Electronic Stability Control has been the most effective safety system in cars the last few years. Studies are consistently showing reductions in accident rates of between 20 and 80 per cent for vehicles fitted with it. The average crash rate reduction is in the order of 30 per cent. But a blizzard of competing brand names for the technology is getting in the way of public understanding about its benefits.
ESC uses sensors which, in coordination with the engine management system can brake individual wheels and limit power to put a skidding vehicle back on the desired path. However there is one problem - every manufacturer seems to have their own acronym for the technology.
Be it ESC, ESP, VSC, VSA, VDC or YSC, they all mean the same thing. So why can't the manufacturers simply agree on one simple naming convention so consumers can know what they're getting? They have done it with ABS, EBD and countless other features.
Canada, of all places, has taken the matter seriously. The country plans to have a standard logo to distinguish vehicles equipped with ESC while the Canadian transport authority is working on an educational program to educate drivers about the technology.
Here in Australia we are a few steps behind. Before we can get to a simple naming convention, we at CarAdvice think the Federal Government needs to make ESC mandatory on all high-selling models.
Australian governments are keen to lecture us that speed is the primary cause of all accidents. The lifesaving benefits of ESC deserve at least as much promotion.
Don't believe in ESC? Click here.