As of 1 November 2014, Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is mandatory on all new vehicles sold in the EU. Estimated to prevent 3,000 fatalities and 50,000 injuries per year in the EU, ESC stabilises the vehicle and prevents skidding in all driving situations by active brake intervention on one or more wheels and by intelligent engine torque management.

“ESC is a technology with a proven ability to prevent a high number of fatalities and accidents and so it was essential to make it mandatory”, said Director General of FIA Region I, Jacob Bangsgaard. He continued, “With the campaign Choose ESC, we mobilised consumers throughout the EU to raise awareness of the importance of buying cars with ESC and at the same time encouraged policymakers to mandate this life-saving technology as a standard feature for all cars. Being equipped with Electronic Stability Control, the cars in Europe are now safer, but unfortunately car buyers in important markets like Latin America, China, and India are still not adequately protected.”

From 2006 to 2009 a group of stakeholders took the lead to carry out an extensive campaign to inform consumers about the importance of ESC and to request this technology when purchasing a new car. Demonstration events were carried out throughout Europe and in Canada, with the support of FIA Clubs, the FIA, the FIA Foundation, eSafetyAware, and the European Commission. The campaign also received the support of a long list of Formula One, Endurance, and Rally drivers. Alongside the public activities, the organisations involved were encouraging EU policymakers and the UN to take action by providing the proof of the safety gains to be made if ESC were made mandatory.

In July 2009, the EU Regulation mandated ESC systems on all new vehicle types from 1 November 2011 and, as of 1 November 2014, this technology has been made standard on all new vehicles sold in the EU.

Global NCAP, the umbrella body for New Car Assessment Programmes, is now calling for the benefits of this life saving technology to be extended worldwide. Global NCAP is urging all UN Member States to make the benefits of ESC a standard fit on all cars during the current UN Decade of Action for Road Safety. At Global NCAP’s Annual Meeting, which took place in Tianjin, China on 29-31 October, Global NCAP adopted a Declaration on ESC which asks all UN Member States to mandate ESC in new models by 2018 and in all cars by 2020. Global NCAP’s Declaration applauds Australia, Canada, the European Union, Israel, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, Turkey, and the United States of America, for making this life-saving technology mandatory and welcomes the similar legislative commitments recently made by the Governments of Argentina and New Zealand, which will be applied in 2018 and 2015 respectively.