Stability Control is a weapon in the array that is car safety available from most manufacturers. These systems dramatically reduce the chances of being involved in an accident by helping drivers to maintain control of their vehicles. If a driver has misjudged a corner or suddenly swerves to avoid an obstacle, Stability Control can help him to avoid a skid and can reduce an accident to a near-miss.
The technology evolved from other technologies such as traction control and anti-lock brakes. The latter technologies save hundreds of lives on the roads every year, as people become less and less competent at handling the incredible amount of power that modern automobiles put between our hands.
Based on existing technology, Stability control adds some additional sensors and analyses the extra information to a computerized control unit. The signals are continuously monitored to determine whether vehicle may be about to lose control. If a deviation from the intended course is detected, the control unit applies a small amount of braking to whichever wheel is needed to help stabilize the course of the vehicle. Some systems also adjust the power output of the engine to help further. This is all done by the control unit which reacts faster than even the best driver could manage.
Most of the time, the vehicle's driver will not even know that the system has intervened.
In June 2005, car-safety organisation Euro NCAP issued a strong recommendation that motorists ensure their next car is fitted with a Stability Control system.
Studies have shown that cars fitted with Stability Control are less involved in certain types of accidents than those without. Studies from Sweden and Japan have showed that accidents rates drop up to 32% in wet conditions (up to 22% in dry conditions) on cars that have active stability control fitted.