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Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

ESC can prevent collisions

ESC - three letters that can save your life

Electronic Stability Control was one of the first, and most effective, safety systems aimed at preventing accidents happening in the first place rather than, like airbags or seatbelts, reducing the severity of injuries.

It’s so effective it’s been fitted as standard on all new cars since 2014.

Antilock braking systems have been around for a long time and help you maintain maximum braking effort and full steering control in an emergency, without skidding. ESC builds on the capability of antilock brakes.

Motorway at night

What does ESC do?

A lot of accidents are the result of a loss of control in a bend taken too fast or a need to take rapid evasive action. Most drivers find it difficult to recover from a slide or spin.

With ESC, wheel sensors can detect the beginning of a slide and small amounts of braking can be applied automatically to individual wheels to regain stability.

  • The risk of an accident is considerably lower for cars fitted with Electronic Stability Control.
  • ESC still relies on the car's basic braking system and tyres and isn’t a substitute for careful driving.
  • It won't be able to prevent all accidents, particularly if you’re driving much too fast or conditions are extreme.

Vehicles equipped with Electronic Stability Control are 25% less likely to be involved in a fatal accident than those without.

  • ESC can reduce crashes involving a vehicle skidding or overturning by up to 59%.
  • ESC offers additional benefits in adverse road conditions such as wet or snowy weather.
Buying a new car

Many car manufacturers fitted ESC as standard or as an option before 2014. All have their own names or acronyms, which can make comparing specifications difficult.

All of these mean the same thing:

  • ESP Electronic Stability Programme
  • ESC Electronic Stability Control
  • VDC Vehicle Dynamic Control
  • DSC Dynamic Stability Control
  • VSA Vehicle Stability Assist
  • ASC Active Stability Control
  • DSTC Dynamic Stability and Traction Control

17 February 2017