Something like 42,000 lives could be saved and 150,000 serious injuries prevented by 2030 if all new cars in G20 countries were required to have electronic stability control (ESC), an inexpensive crash avoidance technology, starting this year.
Thirteen G20 countries, including the United States, currently adhere to regulations recommended by the United Nations for ESC, an anti-skid technology that uses sensors to monitor a vehicle’s stability to help drivers maintain control in cases of over and under-steering. If the seven remaining countries —Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa— also mandated the technology in 2020, those countries could receive an estimated $21.5 billion in economic benefit from the prevention of deaths and serious injuries.
“We have ample evidence that electronic stability control reduces the number of fatal collisions on the road,” Kelly Henning, director of public health at Bloomberg Philanthropies, said in a statement. “Given this new analysis finding that the benefits of ESC regulations would outweigh the relatively inexpensive costs, all remaining G20 countries should urgently require the safety technology in cars.”
G20 countries are responsible for 98% of the world’s passenger car production, according to the report, and the cost of implementing ESC on vehicles that already contain anti-lock braking systems is thought to be as little as $50 per car.
Industry push back is thought to be the main reason the seven remaining G20 countries don’t have ESC requirements in place, however, the report noted, Argentina and Brazil are due to start applying them in 2020.
“Costs and Benefits of Electronic Stability Control in Selected G20 Countries,” was released on Monday at the Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C, in advance of the 3rd Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in Stockholm next month, a large gathering of government officials considered an important opportunity for adoption of the UN-recommended standard.
Electronic stability control is regarded as the most important vehicle safety feature for crash avoidance, as it is 38% effective in reducing the number of deaths in loss-of-control collisions, the report said. In the United States, which has required ESC in new cars since 2009 and was the first G20 country to adopt the regulation, government figures show that nearly 2,000 lives were saved by the technology in 2015.
“Each year’s delay in requiring electronic stability control fitment in all new cars results in thousands of avoidable deaths,” David Ward, president of the Global New Car Assessment Program (Global NCAP), said in a statement. Global NCAP is a nonprofit based in London that serves as an umbrella organization for new-car assessment programs globally that offer consumers information about the safety levels for models sold in their markets. “Countries must do more to ramp up vehicle safety standards and meet UN targets,” he added.
To access the full report, click here.