Electronic Stability Control Explained

Electronic stability control takes your anti lock brakes and adds to them, putting in a system that takes how the driver steers and compares it with how the car is rotating around its vertical axis as well as the amount of traction the tires have going. If the measurements don’t add up, the car hits the brakes itself on one or more of the wheels and helps get the vehicle back in the direction that it needs to be going. Electronic stability control might not be called what it actually is when you are researching for buying a new car, so keep an eye out for the pet names that different car manufacturers have for this safety feature.

  • Volvo calls it Dynamic Stability and Traction Control
  • BMW calls it Dynamic Stability Control
  • Mercedes-Benz calls it Electronic Stability Program (this is a populat name for it)
  • Cadillac and a few GMs call it StabiliTrak
  • Lexus and Toyota call it Vehicle Stability Control, which is also common

It sounds different, but they’re all practically the same. And they work. In 2006, The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety performed a study and the results informed them that an electronic stability system has the power to get rid of almost a whole third of all auto accidents that result in one or more deaths, and it can also provide lots of help in reducing rollovers–by eighty percent! It’s no wonder that almost all new cars these days can be found with this fantastic safety feature.

Lots of SUVs have it, which is great, since sports utility vehicles are the very ones that are more likely than any other to get into a rollover, especially ones that result in deaths. SUVs just don’t have the right center of gravity to be safe on the road when it comes to things like hard lefts and rights. Stability control programs aren’t going to foresee a rollover once it’s coming, but they take measures to make sure the risk doesn’t even come up.


Fashun Guadarrama.

About the Author:

Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."