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Congress to Mandate Stability Control for All Vehicles

September 18, 2006

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congress is expected to mandate the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to institute a new law that would require all vehicles to come standard with stability-control systems, the Detroit Free Press reports. The system, which functions by keeping a vehicle from veering out of the driver’s control during emergencies, could potentially save more than 10,000 lives in reduced rollovers and other crashes. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that the new requirement will reduce the risk of fatal single-vehicle crashes by 56 percent and the overall risk of single-vehicle crashes by 40 percent. Though the stability-control system has been tested for about two decades, the effort to mandate a nationwide stability-control requirement was impeded 10 years ago by the questionable benefits of anti-lock brakes (ABS), a crucial component of stability control. It will likely take at least three years before stability control would be on all new vehicles. Currently, the system is available on more than half of new vehicles sold but can cost up to $900 as a stand-alone option, according to Detroit Free Press. A final rule will likely be issued early next year.
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