Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Electronic Stability Control Systems; Controls and Displays
As part of a comprehensive plan for reducing the serious risk of rollover crashes and the risk of death and serious injury in those crashes, this document establishes a new Federal motor vehicle safety standard (FMVSS) No. 126 to require electronic stability control (ESC) systems on passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks, and buses with a gross vehicle weight rating of 4,536 Kg (10,000 pounds) or less. ESC systems use automatic computer-controlled braking of individual wheels to assist the driver in maintaining control in critical driving situations in which the vehicle is beginning to lose directional stability at the rear wheels (spin out) or directional control at the front wheels (plow out). Preventing single-vehicle loss-of-control crashes is the most effective way to reduce deaths resulting from rollover crashes. This is because most loss-of-control crashes culminate in the vehicle leaving the roadway, which dramatically increases the probability of a rollover. Based on the best available data, drawn from crash data studies, NHTSA estimates that the installation of ESC will reduce single-vehicle crashes of passenger cars by 34 percent and single vehicle crashes of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) by 59 percent, with a much greater reduction of rollover crashes. NHTSA estimates that ESC has the potential to prevent 71 percent of the passenger car rollovers and 84 percent of the SUV rollovers that would otherwise occur in single-vehicle crashes. NHTSA estimates that ESC would save 5,300 to 9,600 lives and prevent 156,000 to 238,000 injuries in all types of crashes annually once all light vehicles on the road are equipped with ESC systems. The agency further anticipates that ESC systems would substantially reduce (by 4,200 to 5,500) the more than 10,000 deaths each year on American roads resulting from rollover crashes. Manufacturers equipped about 29 percent of model year (MY) 2006 light vehicles sold in the U.S. with ESC, and intend to increase the percentage to 71 percent by MY 2011. This rule requires installation of ESC in 100 percent of light vehicles by MY 2012 (with exceptions for some vehicles manufactured in stages or by small volume manufacturers). Once all light vehicles in the fleet have ESC, of the overall projected annual 5,300 to 9,600 highway deaths and 156,000 to 238,000 injuries prevented by stability control systems installed either voluntarily or under this rulemaking, we would attribute 1,547 to 2,534 prevented fatalities (including 1,171 to 1,465 involving rollover) to this rulemaking, in addition to the prevention of 46,896 to 65,801 injuries by increasing the percentage of light vehicles with ESC from 71 percent to 100 percent.