Electronic stability control (ESC) is now mandatory in all vehicles under 3.5 tonnes sold within Europe.
The new rules came into effect from November 1, but although Europe may appear to be behind the rest of the world in making the technology compulsory, the law arguably hasn’t required the same urgency as other markets.
According to Bosch - the ‘father’ of stability control as we know it - 84 percent of new vehicles sold in Europe already have ESC fitted as standard equipment; compared with just 59 percent for the world as a whole.
Bosch claims around 6000 lives have been saved by ESC since 1995, and an eye-opening 190,000 collisions have been avoided.
While those figures could be disputed, first-world road safety experts seem to agree on the value of ESC as laws are already in place in numerous countries.
Australia’s first ESC laws came in 2009, when Federal Government mandated the technology be fitted to all new models from November 2011.
A year ago, the law was updated to include all new passenger cars sold in Australia and complied after November 1; regardless of where they were in their respective model cycles.
That leaves commercials as the only class of light vehicle not currently required to offer ESC as standard in Australia, but dates of 2015 through to 2018 have been debated for LCV’s inclusion.
Emerging markets are still languishing when it comes to ESC however, with two relatively new models recently awarded a ‘zero-star’ safety rating by Global NCAP’s new crash-safety program in India.
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