Electronic stability control (ESC)

ESC uses anti-lock braking and traction control to reduce the danger of skidding. The system uses sensors to detect loss of control and automatically applies the brake to the relevant wheel to keep your vehicle on the intended path.

ESC helps you avoid crashing by:

  • correcting impending oversteering or understeering
  • stabilising your car during sudden evasive manoeuvres
  • enhancing handling on gravel patches, such as road shoulders
  • improving traction on slippery or icy roads.

An Australasian study by Monash University on the effectiveness of ESC systems showed they reduced the risk of single vehicle crashes in which the driver is injured by:

  • 32 percent overall
  • 27 percent for cars
  • 68 percent for four-wheel-drives.

While all ESC systems have similar hardware, they differ in how they are programmed to respond to the loss of control. Other factors can affect the effectiveness of all ESC systems. For example worn tyres or inappropriate tyres (such as ordinary road tyres on snow or ice) reduce control.

Different names for ESC systems:

  • Active Stability Control (ASC) - Mitsubishi
  • AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control (RSC)
  • Controllo Stabilita (CST)
  • Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) - Ford, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover
  • Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC) - Volvo
  • Electronic Stability Program (ESP) - Holden, Audi, Chrysler, Mercedes, Saab, Volkswagen
  • Interactive Vehicle Dynamics (IVD)
  • Maserati Stability Programme (MSP)
  • Porsche Stability Management (PSM)
  • Precision Control System (PSC)
  • StabiliTrak
  • Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) - Subaru, Nissan
  • Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM)
  • Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) - Honda
  • Vehicle Stability/Swerve Control (VSC) - Toyota, Lexus