Electronic systems cut rollover crashes

June 14, 2006 at 12:09 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, June 13 (UPI) -- Equipping U.S. cars with electronic stability control systems could save 10,000 lives annually by preventing rollover crashes, an insurance group says.

The report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said that the number of rollover fatalities would be cut 80 percent if all sports utility vehicles had the systems, the Boston Globe reported.

Electronic systems reduce rollovers by automatically adjusting brakes and throttle in turns. The report said they are standard on about 40 percent of the cars sold in the United States, optional on 15 percent and not available on the others.

Car companies sometimes make the systems prohibitively expensive by bundling them with other options and charging as much as $2,000 for the package.

But analysts told the Globe that regulators may step in as evidence mounts on reducing rollover crashes.

"I think it's the biggest thing since the seat belt," said Erich Merkle, director of marketing for IRN Inc., a Michigan consultant.

Topics: Erich Merkle
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