A campaign to convert motorists to a safety feature which could cut car accidents in Europe by one fifth is being launched today.
The European Commission says Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is the most promising car safety technology currently on the market – but too few drivers know about the benefits.
Today’s event in Rome – with a video endorsement from racing driver Michael Schumacher – is designed to increase awareness and encourage manufacturers to add ESC to the standard features of their models.
Stability control is a crash-prevention system which kicks in to help the driver in skid situations and when the car swerves suddenly to avoid a hazard.
Sensors around the car can detect the course of the vehicle and help bring it back on track by braking individual wheels.
The Commission says it can cut the risk of accidents by up to 20 per cent, especially in wet or icy conditions.
But a new EU-wide survey by the European New Car Assessment Programme shows that only 42 per cent of new cars are ESC-equipped – and they are mostly luxury models and not small family cars.
The Commission is already planning to make ESC installation compulsory in all new passenger cars by 2012, but in the meantime wants motorists to opt for the system because of its proven safety record.
Which? believes that all cars should now be fitted with Electronic Stability Control.
Which? Motoring Editor Richard headland said: ‘’We fully support the research that’s been done on the fitment of electronic stability control on cars across Europe – as it’s high time all cars sold in the UK were fitted with this life-saving technology.’