Accidents can happen for many reasons, such as unexpected or overspeeding on a curvature part of the road, losing a vehicle’s stability. Modern vehicles feature dynamic stability control (DSC), electronic stability program (ESP), or electronic stability control (ESC). This automotive computerized technology detects and decreases skidding or loss of traction, improving a car’s stability.
In this article, you’ll learn the pros and cons of electronic stability control (ESC) to help you make an informed choice when choosing the best features for your vehicle for safe driving.
What Is Electronic Stability Control?
Electronic stability control (ESC) detects steering control loss, automatically applying the brakes to an individual wheel to help steer your car where you’re planning to go. Learn more about this new vehicle safety technology as published here.
Now that you know the definition of ESC, it' time to check the pros and cons of this vehicle safety feature.
The following are the pros of the vehicle with ESC features:
- Automatic Brake Application
Accidents involve hospitalization, dealing with insurance claims, and finding the right lawyer to help obtain maximum compensation for damages. But you can prevent accidents by practicing safe driving and using a vehicle equipped with safety features such as ESC.
With ESC, braking on the wheel is automatically applied, such as the inner rear wheel, counteracting understeer and outer front wheel, counteracting oversteer.
Here are the good-to-know things about how ESC automatic brake application works:
- ESC applies brake only when the computer detects a probable steering control loss, like when your car isn’t going where you’re steering. Also, an ESC system has traction control, detecting drive-wheel slip under acceleration.
- ESC willapplywhen the followinghappens: poor steering when turning on slippery roads, evasive swerves during an emergency and hydroplaning.
- ESC estimates the skid’s direction, applying the brakes to each wheel asymmetrically. This mechanism generates torque to oppose the skid and bring the car back in line with the ESC's perceived commanded direction of the driver.
- Some ESC systems reduce engine power to avoid accidents until the driver regains control. Also, the ESC slows the vehicle by operating the transmission.
- Prevent Accident
According to a trusted source, ESC could reduce rollover risk by 80% and prevent almost one-third of fatal crashes. Because of this safety feature’s mechanism, the driver is less likely to lose control of the steering wheel, focusing on driving the vehicle safely.
Check the following reminders about ESC use:
- The ESC system doesn't replace safe driving practices. This safety technology assists drivers in recovering from dangerous driving situations.
- It’s crucial to keep in mind that ESC works within your car’s available traction between the tires,road, and handling limits. For instance, a reckless maneuver can exceed the vehicle’s limits, leading to a loss of steering control. The tires may still lose contact during hydroplaning which reduces ESC’s effectiveness.
- The ESC system’s computing power facilitates the communication of a vehicle’s passive and active safety systems to address other possible causes of crashes. ESC sensors can detect when your car is following too closely,it straightening up the seat back and tightening the seat belt to prepare the driver for a possible crash.
- Reducing Severity of Crashes
Numerous studies around the world have confirmed that ESC is highly effective in helping the driver maintain control of the car, thereby saving lives and reducing the probability of occurrence and severity of crashes.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA analysis findings include the effectiveness of ESC against rollovers. The use of ESC significantly reduced crashes, as shown in several studies from Japan and Europe. This safety technology highly benefits motorists from a rollover accident.
- Reduce Property Damage
ESC can reduce property damage because of less vehicle impact on properties when a crash occurs. This vehicle safety feature incorporates Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) control, slowing down an individual tire. Hence, reducing damage to properties when the vehicle hits an object.
Here are the following cons of having ESC feature:
- Doesn’t Improve Cornering Performance
Drivers shouldn’t also consider this feature as a performance enhancement. While ESC facilitates a more controlled cornering, this feature doesn’t enable faster cornering because it can’t increase traction.
- Incompatible with High-Performance Driving
ESC can intervene during high-performance driving. Unwanted ESC application happens because the steering input doesn’t always sense the intended direction during controlled drifting.
Because ESC can be incompatible if you engage in high-performance driving, car manufacturers developed an override control system, allowing partial or full deactivation of the ESC system. The override control can be a single button, disabling all ESC features, or a multi-position switch.
You’ve learned the pros and cons of ESC. The electronic stability control or ESC doesn’t improve a car's cornering performance. However, this feature helps reduce the likelihood of the driver losing control when driving the vehicle on a tough road, preventing an accident. Also, ESC can help reduce the cost of property damage from crashes.