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Stability Control, are you ready for it?

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Comments

  • atlgaxtatlgaxt Posts: 501
    I am new to this board and have not read all the posts, so excuse me if I am retreading.

    I am looking at a Nissan Xterra or similar smaller truck based SUV or crew cab pickup. Don't beat me up for buying a truck, because I am part of the small minority that actually needs a true 4wd for my work looking at big tracts of land. As such, I am not buying a sports car so I am not worried about stability control intruding on the fun of driving. Based on my budget, I may have to choose between stability control and side curtain airbags.

    My gut tells me if I cannot have both, I will get more safety benefit from stability control in a tall truck or SUV. I'd rather avoid rolling in the first place. If I am already rolling, I am not sure how much additional benefit I will get from curtain airbags. Tall body on frame vehicles seem to do pretty well in side impacts already, limiting the benefit of side airbags. I was just curious if anyone else thought similarly or differently.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    You never know when some idiot is going to hit you in the side, but you can control your own speed around curves and in bad weather. Stability control will help keep you out of a single-vehicle crash. Side airbags will help you survive a single- or multi-vehicle crash. And the Nissan's design includes rollover activation.
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    The vehicle is somewhere from $22k to $27k and the air bag package is $700 with the VDC (ESC) adding $300 to that for a $1000 option. What is your head worth? What is the family worth? We're talking 1.3% of the price at most to add the VDC, which doesn't seem available without getting the air bag package. If that is all it takes to be too expensive, I think I'd go with something the sub $20k range and give yourself some cushion. How much does $300 add to the monthly payment?
  • atlgaxtatlgaxt Posts: 501
    Problem is that Nissan (and many other automakers) make it difficult to buy these options stand alone. Xterras with stability control and 4x4 are plentiful at about $26K MSRP. For some reason, to get the side and curtain bags, all of the vehicles I have seen have been loaded, pushing $30K. At Subaru, it is a different story. All Legacies and Outbacks have side and curtain bags standard, and you can get a base model of these vehicles with a retail price in the low twenties. But to get stability control, you have to buy a top of the line version over $30k.

    In any case, this was more of a theoretical question. Which gives you more safety bang for the buck? I still think that if I had to choose either or, I would rather have the stability control and try to avoid crashing and rolling in the first place.
  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    I'd make the same decision, though I think it's more psychological than sound. I'd feel like I'd have a better chance at avoiding an accident, so I'd feel more in control. Getting the airbags is kind of like the feeling that if you get life insurance, you're admitting that you're going to die.

    From a logical point of view though, I think 210delray is right.

    And yes I hate options packages. My friend's getting a WRX shipped from Japan because he chose a weird combination. They've been really nice and helpful about it, and I wish it were as easy with any manufacturer.
  • boxster1boxster1 Posts: 18
    And you know in your gut that Starrow68 is right. Kill another option and get the side bags and the ESC. Getting t-boned once at an intersection can be deadly and the bags might make the difference. And believe me, ESC is probably more important in an SUV than in a sports car. Get both. After the payments start, you won't notice the few bucks extra.
  • bklynguybklynguy Posts: 275
    because we heard that VSA (Vehicle Stability Assist, Honda's name for ESC) will become standard. The dealer tried to push a good deal on a 05 Accord EX V6 with only ABS & Traction Control and when I brought up VSA, he said we don't really need it.

    We want that feature since many of our German relatives have vehicles with ESC and we know that ESC will become standard over the next few years. I've read many of these posts and I'm now more than ever convinced that we need this feature.
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    Patents were awarded to: Fritz Dilger (Steering Wheel Angle Determination) An algorithm supplying power to a controller after ignition-off and saves the steering wheel angle value in the controller's non-volatile memory. (Calibration Procedure for a Permanently Powered Relative Steering Wheel Angle Sensor with Power-Loss Indication) A relative steering wheel angle sensor receiving power directly from the vehicle's battery and interacts with the vehicle's car area network. Geoffrey Bauer (Regulating Manual Control of a Vehicle in a Sliding Condition) The electronic stability control system will adjust if the vehicle is manually controllable in a sliding condition. If the vehicle is not controllable, the system will activate. (Mitigate Vehicle Roll Oscillations by Limiting the Rate of Recovery of the Lateral Component of the Tire Force Vector) A stability control system decreasing the propensity for rollover and preventing rapid body roll movement. Vinh Tran (Road Recognition System) .....
    Neale Jesse and Geoffrey Bauer (Improve Estimation of Vehicle Longitudinal Velocity) Determining whether a vehicle has a lateral acceleration greater than a predetermined value, and then setting the estimate of longitudinal velocity based on the velocity of the wheel.
  • ontrack1ontrack1 Posts: 13
    Very smart move on your part. Hey, for the last 100 years no one has been able to trust a car salesman - why change now? They will tell you anything to get that commission. You are correct in that Europeans are way ahead with ESC. It is quite common on cars there and is coming on strong here. You'll be glad you chose to wait on the system.
  • ontrack1ontrack1 Posts: 13
    Good point. Quite a few Americans special order, but you are right - the masses like to walk on the car lot and pick it out. I think it's called, "instant gratification." I bought a Boxster off the lot, but made sure it had their PSM system already on it. Most Ford 500s would never have an ESC system if the dealer is ordering it for stock. But if enough customers start asking or demanding it, the market will change how a dealer orders their stock.
  • ontrack1ontrack1 Posts: 13
    Man, if you're in an SUV you NEED the ESC system! The theory is, if you can keep it on the road you can keep it from rolling over. ESC is designed to keep a car, or especially an SUV, on the road. Honda is coming out with their version of ESC for the Accord shortly. All the major manufacturers are now offering it as the demand from customers and also in press articles increases.
  • boxster1boxster1 Posts: 18
    Think I'd wait and get the stability option. Better resale too, so you'll get more for it when you turn it in later.
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/makeitcount/2002266007_shopsmart0508.html?syndicatio- - n=rss

    BTW, has anyone seen the Ford ad for ESC that shows the sensor animation and what did you think?
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,287
    As interesting as the links to the articles are starrow68, the idea here is to have a discussion about the topics. It's difficult to have a conversation with a link to a news story. I'm imagining that YOU might have something interesting to add to the topic here!

    Edmunds Moderator

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    Need some roadside assistance? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

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  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    I'm sort of posted out, especially with very little interest in the topic. Seems that this is ahead of it's time some how, at least I hope that is the case. Even the negative views seemed to die quickly. Also I know what my limitations are and I look to learn more from the general info available on the web than repeat what I know already. I'm not one who finds my own opinion very meaningful beyond it's application to just me. Makes me wonder why so many people look to polls when I'd rather get an expert view than many inputs from people like me, who may not know a lot about a subject. If it dies, it will come back again, maybe better!
    Randy

    Then again, maybe people just aren't ready for ESC ... to bad!
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    http://www.designnews.com/article/CA529770.html

    This technical discussion has one of the best reviews of the approach used
    to correct spin out using a gyro. Some of the predictions about one
    technology replacing current sensors is possibly an attempt to sell something
    that doesn't yet exist, but overall very good info for those interested in a
    better understanding of what is comming. From 11% market penetration now
    they are saying it will be on 30% of vehicles in a couple years. Of course in
    the EU it is already approaching availability in 50% of vehicles, they value
    safety.
    Randy
  • boxster1boxster1 Posts: 18
    Actually, I find the stability control issue gaining interest quickly in the US market. As usual, we're behind the serious driving curve of Europe - they always seem to have more focus on performance, handling, safety, etc. - but ESC seems to be taking hold at a fast rate on this side of the pond now. I think the key for drivers who are really "drivers," is to have a system that can be turned off when you want to play with the car (on-the-track, slalom course, etc). For 95 percent of the drivers, I think you'll find that they never even know it's there. They won't turn it off because they will just forget about it. But it could keep them from sliding into your lane of traffic someday.

    Some of the advancements in electronic chassis controls are pretty amazing and continuing at a fast pace these days. The same computer that controls ESC could also connect things like steering as well to make it a broader system.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 33,750
    I believe that many (most?) car buyers in the US don't really know anything about cars, or more exotic technology like ABS or ESC. But, they do see ads or news peices that make them believe that they gotta have something, so they go get it. That, or the "Jones'" got it, so they need it too!

    Many of the same people that wouldn't know if their drive wheels are in the front, back or middle. But at least they make up for it by having poor driving skills.

    And guess which group Lexus, and the other manufacturers with overly intrusive ESC systems, are designing for? Hint: not guys like Boxster that want to take their car out to the track.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    I'd mostly agree, but I'd break the percent of drivers who really drive into two groups, and instead of 95% I think it's both higher and lower. There is the 80-90% who think they are above average drivers, we'll ignore that for the moment. Those who really do know, spent time with instruction, is probably in the tenth's of a percent, I think, so the rest, say 99.5% probably contains about 20-30% who think they really have skill and would be surprised if they got on a track, like I was. So I'm betting that 99% could care less that the system never comes into play, just like an airbag, if it never goes off, good deal.

    As to sensor inputs being tied to the steering as well as the braking, that is already the case in most systems. There is a steering angle sensor, the one on my Corvette died about 30k miles, that compares input with the yaw sensor to judge where the driver is trying to go when it decides what braking input will get it back on course. Interesting thing, it presumes that the driver is aiming at the best solution to the problem, the exit, rather than aiming at the tree that is what they are currently focused on, not realizing that the eyes are causing the hands to follow. :cry:
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/050520/def030.html?.v=4

    I hesitate to suggest that this is all a good idea but none the less, it is upon us.
  • boxster1boxster1 Posts: 18
    OK, it's obvious that Starrow and Stickg's are in to cars. Good points from both. I made it through Bondurant's high performance driving and also the four day competition courses -- back when they were still using Mustangs. Those didn't have anything like ESC and while you learned the dynamics of getting a car around the course, or controlling one in a slide, 99.5 percent (Starrow's right) never learned how to do this. So ESC is the best thing to happen to 99.5 percent of the driving population. Any arguments out there? Too many drivers that think ESC is getting in their way. I don't think so.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 130,977
    Only, I'm betting it is even higher than 99.5%.

    I wouldn't put myself in the top 1/2%, but maybe the top 3-4% (modest, ain't I?), and as time passes, I notice that my attention span is a lot shorter than it used to be..

    I would say that stability control is a net positive, even for me, 98% of the time... If I tracked my car, I might feel differently...

    regards,
    kyfdx

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    If you tracked something that you wanted to drive home, you might feel very different. ESC probably got me home this weekend. Just back from 2 days at Thunderhill Raceway, 3m SCCA operated road course, and I ran with two different groups. Thursday was just straight lapping almost all street cars and with 3 groups, all experienced, no instruction, I ran in the middle group. Had one car pass me all day and it was a surprise, a G35. A kid, probably under 30, had it lowered with I think some suspension tweaks, race slicks, but what looked to be a stock engine, I could just barely keep up with him as he had to get through traffic and they usually held him up just enough to let me keep tabs for a couple laps, it was worth watching.

    On Friday, OTOH, it was much more race car crowd and I was running in the low intermediate group of 4 groups and getting passed every so often. Also they did a time trial and on the warm up lap I got passed by two much faster cars and then by two Spec. Miatas, not without some attempt to prevent I will admit. However, as one went by on the outside of a off camber turn and I tried to hold the line at speed, the ESC just gave me a nudge which probably saved me and the Miata from a bad tangle. Big heavy cars slide downhill very quickly. I'll just thank the system and say I did reel in one of the Miata's later in the session for a clean pass on the straight and stayed ahead in the twisties long enough to get another straight to put some distance between us. I'm still learning, so not going to feel too bad about a car on race slicks, with a club race driver, passing me even if it had about 1/2 the power to weight performance of my street tired, stock suspension Vette.
  • annekannek Posts: 12
    I am trying to decide whether to get a good deal on an outgoing 05 Honda Accord LX (4 cylinder) model or wait for the 06 Accords, which rumor has will include vehicle stability control. My question is: Do you all think that Honda will put this feature on their 4 cylinder accords or just on their 6 cylinder accords?
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/050606/dem030.html?.v=9

    As to the Honda question, who's to know. I've seen the Honda Sedan on a list
    of current vehicles with ESC but when on the Honda site, I didn't see it as an option
    at least on the model I looked at. Good Luck.

    On the article, Continental says they introduced ESC in 1998, 'to the mass market' which sort of ignores that MB introduced it in about 1994 and GM had it on
    Caddy in 1997 and Corvette in 1998. Corvette seems pretty mass market to me.
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    http://www.autoweek.com/news.cms?newsId=102560

    http://www.todaystrucking.com/displayarticle.cfm?ID=4109

    http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/News/articleId=106033

    If you aren't ready for it, seems many are working on getting it to us anyway.
    Seems if they have a test to measure results against that is repeatable then
    the Fed's are willing to consider mandating it at some point. But as noted
    since GM has said they will have it in everything by 2010 it may be moot
    since everyone else is likely to follow. Now the quesion will be, how many
    models like Corvette will have an off switch? Then again, is that even a good idea?

    Randy
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/050622/nyw133.html?.v=14

    Seems ESC is having an impact that is measurable ...
  • smittynycsmittynyc Posts: 291
    Honest question: do you have stock in Bosch or some other financial interest in stability control?

    Keeping an otherwise dead thread alive by several months' worth of posting regurgitated corporate press releases (not actual news items) just has me wondering, that's all.
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    And yes I do have an personal interest. For that reason I made sure that my last car purchase for myself 4 years ago and 2 years ago for my wife both had 'our' stability control gyro in the system. And no, they aren't Bosch systems. They just happen to be Corvette's, which led me to driving schools and then race schools which got me into tracking a Corvette, where I've personally experienced the system at very high speed, so actually I consider it a public service to try and get the spot light on something that even the supposed auto experts know very little about, even after most of a decade. You might be surprised at how many people I still talk to that when asked if they know what stability control does, will say yes and then describe traction control.

    Can you explain why if studies show 60+% decline in single vehicle fatalities in SUVs there is so little interest in the topic? I'd be interested in an opinion.
    Randy
  • smittynycsmittynyc Posts: 291
    Can you explain why if studies show 60+% decline in single vehicle fatalities in SUVs there is so little interest in the topic? I'd be interested in an opinion.


    I can't imagine a scenario in which I'd even consider buying an SUV, so I'm probably the wrong person to offer that opinion.

    I think that there is a lot of noise, statistically speaking, in that 60% decline. If those sorts of numbers hold up as more and more models hit the road, then you'll see a rush to ESC and a general perception that not having it would be as crazy as not having seat belts.

    And rightly or wrongly, drivers probably assume the single-vehicle accident is something that happens to "other drivers." For drivers who know the limits of their vehicles and adjust their speed according to conditions, this probably isn't an unreasonable assumption to make.
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    Is what I think is the common misconception. Accidents happen even to those who think they know how to drive and who are prepared. The Object jumping out of a pickup bed, etc. is not predictable or common, but it does happen and it can happen just when you look to push the radio button. The over correction will at that point some times prove fatal, that's too bad when there is something that might cause a much less serious outcome. I wish everyone good luck, but at this point I'll keep buying cars with ESC as I replace the ones I decide to replace.
    Randy
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    ...I would have liked it, but even though it's now theoretically available on the 2005 Camry 4-cylinder, it's actually very difficult to get even on the top model, the XLE. I didn't want to go through the hassle, so I got only the side curtain airbags, which are readily available, at last. ABS was made standard across the Camry line just this year.
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 6,880
    Absolutely. No one is perfect! ESC may very well bail you out of a situation you could not have foreseen such as black ice, sudden wind gusts, oil spilled in the road, etc.
  • boxster1boxster1 Posts: 18
    I'm not all that certain that very many drivers (1) really know their vehicle's limits and (2) adjust their speed accordingly to conditions.

    This really isn't a slap at all drivers. It's just that any of us who are enthusiasts will occasionally get a little over the edge with our driving habits. As far as I'm concerned, I hope not to have to use the ESC in my car, but if I get too enthusiastic in my driving, I hope it's there to keep me from flying off the edge of the pavement! As for the SUV drivers, yes, they need it. It's obvious they are top heavy, compared to a Vette or Z-car, and need the help in more cases than your average sedan. But even in a sedan, or sports car, it can save your neck.

    I believe it will be standard in most vehicle within the next few years. It just makes sense. It compensates much faster than a human can.
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    “Many cars can now be purchased with Stability Control. Accident research has shown that such systems help the driver maintain control of the car and the research shows that if all cars in Europe were fitted with stability control, thousands of lives could be saved. The benefits are large enough for Euro NCAP to strongly recommend all car buyers to choose a car with stability control.”

    (The US NHTSA is also investigating ways to establish new performance standards that will encourage if not compel manufacturers to increase the number of vehicles equipped with electronic stability control systems.

    From:
    http://www.autoindustry.co.uk/news/industry_news/28-06-05
  • hsfx31ahsfx31a Posts: 1
    A Real Life Experience:

    Last night about 10PM I was returning to my home in south Florida driving on Interstate 75 S. The interstate was busy, driving conditions were poor due to torrential rains from Hurricane Dennis. I was traveling about 60 mph (70 mph speed limit), probably too fast for the conditions. But...

    Suddenly and without warning I was upon a very slow moving truck and trailer. I swerved left to avoid the collision, and immediately the ESC responded, perhaps preventing a rollover. After some violent maneuvering, I ended up in the grass of the median pointing in the desired direction, completely upright. I did not skid, spin or rollover. I attribute this to the assistance of the ESC.

    Perhaps my driving skills might be questioned, but no matter I would never buy another vehicle without ESC. The auto was a Lexus RX 330 (2005).
  • I just bought an '05 Camry XLE V6 and in my car search I determined early on that I had to have ESC. I had read about it in Consumer Reports and I am all for having as many safety features as possible. ESC was an option on the Camry, as well as side/curtain air bags. You can purchase the two options separately and I got both. I've had a Grand Marquis for 12 years and might have bought another one but it doesn't offer ESC, only traction control (same as my 12 year old one has). Also, the GM doesn't offer curtain air bags. Too bad! The GM is a great car, but the sheer weight and bulk won't be enough to save you in a bad accident. Ford should be more proactive. I'm not a gutsy driver, I like a nice smooth, quiet ride and I drive very conservatively, so I'm sure I won't even notice the Camry has ESC. But I'd like to think the nutty driver coming toward me has it, too. As far as ESC adding to future resale value, that's a good point that I hadn't thought about, since I tend to keep my cars so long they're not worth anything, anyway. I'm glad I got all this safety stuff. I'd sure rather spend the extra money on that than navigation and a fancy stereo (both of which I passed on).
  • nitromaxnitromax Posts: 641
    Can you explain why if studies show 60+% decline in single vehicle fatalities in SUVs there is so little interest in the topic? I'd be interested in an opinion.

    That's understandable. SUVs need all the help they can get. :-)

    ...and any additional safety equipment to an SUV is bound to improve it's fatality rate.
  • ontrack1ontrack1 Posts: 13
    Interesting point. It really does seem that almost none of the SUV drivers are concerned about rolling over. Not until it happens, that is. And if you've seen the lack of roof-crush integrity in most of them (in the "after" photos from a roll-over), it should scare you silly.

    I think SUV's provide a sense of false security because of their size and the fact that many or most have 4WD; all of which has nothing to do with stable handling or rolling over. After enough law suits, the big three, and now most of the Japanese and European SUV makers, all provide ESC as standard equipment. It was a lot less than paying off law suits!

    Next, add the side curtains and get your congressman to vote for a stronger roof/roll-over specifications for all manufacturers.
  • boxster1boxster1 Posts: 18
    Hey, I can't blame you for the choice. The Camry delivers good quality, though not that exciting. But then neither is the Grand Marquis, but your choice of the side curtains and ESC was the right one. You only need to use them once and you'll be so very happy. The alternative isn't that great, without those options. Good choices!
  • nitromaxnitromax Posts: 641
    Interesting point. It really does seem that almost none of the SUV drivers are concerned about rolling over. Not until it happens, that is. And if you've seen the lack of roof-crush integrity in most of them (in the "after" photos from a roll-over), it should scare you silly.

    My friend passed a rollover accident yesterday morning on his way to work. The SUV was upside down and there was an arm hanging out of the window. I don't know if anybody got severely injured but there was nothing in the news so I guess that's a good sign.
    The weather was sunny and in the 80's.
  • tamarastertamaraster Posts: 107
    Well, I have a CR-V and I definitely do worry about rolling over. I mean, it doesn't keep me up at night, but it's something I think about (and try not to do, duh) when I'm driving. I never thought it about it when I drove a regular car. I do have ESC and side curtain airbags, though, so that helps. What doesn't help is knowing that probably my weakest driving skill is avoidance maneuvers and the like...exactly the kind of thing you can screw up to flip your car over.
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    http://www.autoweek.com/news.cms?newsId=102898

    http://www.freep.com/news/statewire/sw119284_20050802.htm

    For those the don't get the difference between ABS, traction control and stability control don't feel too bad. I just spent a weekend at Reno-Fernley Raceway with a group of 35 Corvettes and about a dozen other cars. The instructors, all race drivers, kept confusing traction control and stability control which did cause some confusion among the students. And all of these guys were sure they had it right. After a few of them took a few rides with system on, in competition mode (TC off) and fully off (no active handling) they were pretty impressed at how far it would let the cars go in the newer models. Not so true in older, pre '00, models. BTW, I drove almost the whole weekend with the system fully off and I did take several corners faster than what the system will allow. I kept it on when we were doing side by side and passing drills, slight slips when fender to fender don't go well with street cars. Fun weekend and a few new converts to tracking I'm sure as about 2/3's of the crowd were new to the track.
  • Seeing the "after" shots of an SUV rollover isn't too pretty. It still amazes me that there aren't better standards for roof crush, although they are apparently on the way, finally. But staying out of the crash in the first place is the real key for an SUV. Even now that the bigger SUV sales are dropping, the focus is just shifting to the CRV's and Escapes of the world. They do handle better, but still need the stability since they are inherently a little top heavy - compared to passenger cars. Having ESC can be the difference between, "Wow, that was a close one," and "I don't think we're going to make this one!" Choose the ESC!
  • That is pretty amazing that the instructors didn't get the difference. It is pretty common to mix up the parts and pieces though. I try to explain it as, "ESC is the brian that keeps track of every move the vehicle makes, and Traction Control and ABS are its high-tech tools to bring the vehicle under control." When you have a system like ESC that can make other pieces of the car "talk" to each other, you really start to see pretty amazing advancements in safety and control.
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    Let's just say that TC is to keep the drive wheels from spinning under acceleration, too bad a whole generation is missing out on 'exhibition & speed' tickets, not that I ever had enough power to get one. ABS is keeping the wheels from starting to slide which means that you can't steer the car until they start rolling again. Both these help in everyday driving and most don't notice they are there.

    Since they make ABS with 4 separate channels it is easy enough to control each wheel seperately and it is this feature that makes ESC work. The heart of the ESC system is a gyro that can measure the beginning of rotation, before it gets to the stage of a spin out. This info is sent to the brakes and only the necessary wheel will brake, keeping the car on course.

    Interesting thing about ESC, just like ABS, is that old habits get in the way of it working properly. Key thing with ESC is to steer where you want to go, makes little difference if foot is on the gas or brake. Problem is that most people will steer where they are looking and in the event of an accident most people look where they don't want to go ( the tree, wall, other vehicle) and the hands follow, bad outcome. It is going to take awhile for people to get the hang of it.
    Randy
  • rcc8179rcc8179 Posts: 131
    I was skeptical at first, but after a close call this past weekend, I can certainly see the potential benefit to ESC.

    I was driving up AL-59 between Loxley and Bay Minette, on my way back home from Gulf Shores on Sunday. This particlular stretch was practically an interstate--rural, very little of anything on the side of the road, 4 lanes, grass median, 65mph speed limit. I was thinking in interstate-mode (approach car, move to left lane, pass, return to right lane) and admittedly was not expecting anyone to slow down to turn off the road.

    The car in front of me slowed down to turn right into a gas station that is hidden from the road by trees until you get close. I guess with the bright sunlight and the fact that the car was red, I didn't see the brake lights until I was just a second or so from ramming this car (going probably 10mph) at 65mph. I slammed on the brakes and swerved to the left. I missed the car but lost control trying to steer into the left lane, skidded sideways, and jumped a curb, taking out a mailbox and a small bush, before skidding to a stop in the gas station parking lot.

    Luckily, nobody was hurt and the damage was very minor--a bent wheel, cracked front bumper, and a small dent in the left rear door.

    I don't know whether or not ESC would have allowed me to stay on the road or not, but I can certainly see a benefit to having one more level of safety available to me to try to avoid an accident. My next car will definitely have ESC.
This discussion has been closed.