Stability Control to Be Mandatory

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/13/AR2006091301722.html
Stability Control to Be Mandatory All New Cars Will Require Safety Feature
By Sholnn Freeman Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, September 14, 2006; Page D01
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is set to announce a preliminary regulation requiring electronic stability control technology on all new vehicles.
The technology, which has been described as the most important automotive safety advance since seat belts, helps prevent vehicles from veering out of control and possibly rolling over. Nicole Nason, the NHTSA administrator, is expected to outline the new regulation during a news conference today.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimated in a report in June that as many as 10,000 deaths a year could be prevented if all vehicles were equipped with the feature. Auto companies have said the systems are more critical in preventing deaths than air bags, which are credited with saving 1,200 lives per year.
Stability control systems use electronic sensors linked to onboard computers to detect steering problems -- usually at high speeds or on slippery surfaces -- and activate a vehicle's brakes and slow the engine to help drivers maintain control.
The technology, which dates to the early 1990s, has been included on an increasing number of vehicles in recent years, particularly on large sport-utility vehicles, which are prone to roll over. Stability control is standard on about 40 percent of vehicles sold nationwide and available as an option on another 15 percent. Nearly all new SUVs have the technology, according to companies that supply the systems.
Automakers use different names for the feature, which can confuse consumers. Many drivers who have the system aren't sure if they have it or how it works. General Motors Corp., which has said it would make the system available on all models by 2010, calls its StabiliTrak. The feature is also known as Electronic Stability Program and Active Handling.
Ford Motor Co. said it would put electronic stability systems on all Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles by the end of 2009. The feature is standard on all models made by Audi, BMW, Infiniti, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz, which pioneered the technology. Cadillac, Jaguar, Mini, Toyota and Volvo, among others, offer the system as an option on all models.
Joan Claybrook, president of the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, said the suppliers of the technology have shifted tactics and have begun using consumer education campaigns along with heavy lobbying of federal officials to create demand for the new feature. In the past, they had relied solely on automakers to adopt the technology.
"Suppliers try to sell features to the manufacturers. A lot of the time manufacturers say we are very interested but not now. That goes on for a number of years," she said.
Dan Warrell, lead director of electronic stability control systems for auto-parts supplier Delphi Corp., said the technology was coming regardless of government regulation. Warrell said that adding electronic sensors as a result of the new government requirements could allow auto suppliers to provide still broader safety features.
Auto-parts suppliers have showcased in Washington other advanced technology features, such as systems that use cameras and infrared sensors to spot sudden obstructions and activate the brakes before a crash. Other systems tighten seat belts automatically when sensors anticipate an accident or buzz seats as drivers drift out of their lane, possibly because they are dozing off.
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greek_philosophizer wrote:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/13/AR2006091301722.html
Another grand idea, of dubious real value, but certainly adding upfront as well as maintenance costs and complexity. Even ABS, which is far simpler and one would think of great benefit has actually produced very mixed results in terms of highway safety from actual data.
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On 2006-09-14 17:18:46 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

Stability

True, and the same insurance groups that are touting stability control, talked up ABS. Now they no longer give any discount for it, as it has no measurable effect.
Go figure.
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Hay, I've just thought of a great idea. Why not just make the cars stable to begin with. Oh, that wouldn't work, the dealers whould loose a lot of money and the people who design and make the devices and accept money under the table would have to find something else to do. Oh well, another great idea down the tubes. Paul
said:

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You wrote:

Government has never been about doing the right thing. Government has alwasy and only ever been about attempting to validate its own necessity.
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Living in Canada and driving on Icy roads, ABS has saved my ASS a few times. The ESP (Enhanced Stability Program) on the C230 seems to stop me from skidding... Doubt I'd ever flip this car because of its low CG. But does anyone remember the Suzuki Side Kick? Thats the kind of roll over death trap that the industry should be trying to avoid. ESP I doubt will ever solve that type of problem.
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SpreadTooThin wrote:

http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid 03756935899215355
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That'll teach the driver to hurt the tyres this much!
DAS
For direct contact replace nospam with schmetterling
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You wrote:

How many deaths will HAPPEN because people can't afford to buy new cars with more mandated "features" and die when their clunkers fail?
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Japanese government seems to have the right idea here with compulsory four-year inspection which involved the extensive 'restoration' work. You hardly see the older Japanese cars nowadays in Japan unless they are owned and maintained by the connoisseurs or collectors.
Ideally, the Americans ought to have similar scheme. It'll help remove lot of vehicles that are outright dangerous due to their age or lack of maintenance. 'Pimp My Ride' and 'Overhaulin' are excellent proof of gross neglect amongst the lucky rides. It'll also help encourage the people to acquire the newer vehicles with lower emission output and fuel consumption and more safety equipment.
Again, it wouldn't work in the USA with so much of 'hey, no government is gonna tell me what I gonna do' attitude.
Alotta Fagina wrote:

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You wrote:

When has government ever told us what to do and been proven right? Drop your bottle of travel shampoo into the trash can as you answer that....
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Alotta Fagina wrote:

Try the recycling programme. Do the people actually do it on the national level? It's mostly left to the local governments to carry out the recycling programmes.
It's also the money talk that influenced the government to bow to the corporate interest and ignore the true need of public. Bush Administration and GOP have done spectacular job here.
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You wrote:

Recycling programs have so depressed the prices for raw paper, aluminum and other materials that only the massive corporations you disparage in your other remarks can process them successfully.

No, it's morons like the supporters of "recycling" who've done that.
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Alotta Fagina wrote:

So? That's good for the environment. We don't have to destroy the environment for the raw materials when we can recycle the same material again and again.

What's the 'it' in the last paragraph are we talking about? Did I say 'recycling' in the last paragraph? No.
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OM wrote:

I'd like to see statistics that show that a significant number of car accidents, injuries, deaths, etc in the USA are attributable to unsafe vehicles due to maintenance issues. States already have varying degrees of inspection programs to make sure vehicles are safe. Here in NJ, cars are inspected every 2 years with the test including brakes, tires, lights, wipers, horns, glass, suspension, etc. In fact, NJ went to 2 year intervals a few years ago, because they concluded 1 year intervals vs 2 wouldn't make any difference in safety.
I read accident reports in the paper every day and with lots of accidents, it's extremely rare to read that anything mechanically wrong with the car was the cause.

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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Yes, State of Texas has that study which compelled its legislature to make it illegal to drive the vehicles with burnt-out or broken lighting system. The study found that 1 out of 4 accidents were caused by that. The police will seize the vehicles on spot and force the owners to fix the lighting system first before they can release the vehicles. Ask the Texas Department of Transportation for that study. I'm not gonna look for the URL for you. Google it yourself.

Yes, that's because they don't have the tick box attributing to the gross or mechanical neglect. I've seen personally many times where the drivers had much harder time correcting their shitboxes or getting out of hairy situation. Bald tyres in the rain to name one. Since there's no incentive by the state or federal government to study the actual cause of accident or inability to avoid the accident in the first time.
NHTSA doesn't collect the data on vehicular accidents that are attributed to the gross or mechanical neglect. They only collect the accident statistics that involved the death until Congress finally mandated the statistics that involved injuries. That is why it's so hard to prove the need for the effective ECE regulations, including the lighting systems, air bags that aren't oversensitive to the bumps and thumps (that go at night), etc.

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OM wrote:

Hmmm, so according to you it was only recent that it was illegal in TX to drive a vehicle with burned out lights? Do you live in TX? I'd like to see a reference for that too.
The study found that 1 out of 4 accidents were caused by that.

So, in TX, if you have a burned out tail light, they impound you car? I'd like to see a reference for that too, as it seems very unreasonable. You are the one making the claims of existence of studies, impound laws, etc., it seems reasonable to expect you could provide a reference like the ridiculous claim that 25% of accidents are caused by faulty lights.

NHTSA isn't much interested in vehicle maintenance issues as a cause of accidents because as safety experts, they know how insignificant maintenance is as a cause of accidents. They are only interested in the important causes of accidents.
But a quick search came up with this actual data on contributing factors to accidents collected by Minnesota: http://www.dps.state.mn.us/OTS/crashdata/2005CFacts/CF05-1General.pdf
Unsafe Speed 26% Driver Inattention 14% Chemical Impairment 9% Overcorrecting 7% Inexperience 5% Improper Lane Use 3% Improper Turn Driving Left of Center Vision Obscured Diregard for Traffic Signal Driving too Close Improper Passing Unsafe Backing Failure to Yield Improper Parking Cell Phone Impeding Traffic Failure to use lights Other human factors 5% Skidding 8%
Defective Equipment 1.4%
Other vehicle factors 0.9%
Weather 12% Other 5%
I omitted the actual numbers for causes at 1% or less, except of course for defective eqpt. And there you have it, complete with link to the actual report. Defective equipment was a contributing factor in a whopping 1.4% of car accidents in Minnesota, showing maintenance issues are an insignificant cause of crashes, exactly as I stated. When you have some reference that shows otherwise, please let us know.
BTW, I don't know what the hell you're talking about with regard to air bags going off accidently at night.
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Hopefully the fact that the obviously lifesaving devices will go in all vehicles will allow the high volume of manufacture to lower the price. 10,000 lives per year is very significant.
The Japanese have the right idea about many things.
.
. OM wrote:

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You wrote:

Like high suicide rates.
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Alotta Fagina wrote:

Who are you really, Alotta Fagina?
This is not rec.auto.driving where people flame each other and nitpick on others. Please go back there and annoy the Judy Diarrhoea and other stooges there. This is alt.auto.mercedes where lot of people are more civilised and more focussing on topics relating to Mercedes-Benz.
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