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ESC: Saving lives in Spain

Publication date: 20 January 2008

If all vehicles in Spain had ES C fitted as standard, hundreds of lives would have been saved, says the country's RACC club.

The RACC Automóvil Club has urged Spain to wake up to the potential of Electronic Stability Control (ESC) technology to save lives. If all vehicles in Spain were fitted with the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system, up to 600 lives could be saved every year on Spanish roads. But too many models are not fitted as standard with ESC. Given this situation, RACC, in co-operation with Robert Bosch Spain, launched the campaign ¡Exija ESC! on 28 November in Madrid. This project forms part of the Choose ESC! campaign, with RACC Automóvil Club being responsible for the dissemination in Spain, and counting on the support of the European Commission and the EuroNCAP consortium, as well as the main European automobile clubs.


The aim of this campaign is to halve the number of road accident victims by 2010, Brussels' target date to reach this milestone. The RACC will edit 500,000 informative brochures on the reliability of the ESC technology that will be distributed at car dealers, driving schools and other contact points.


The figures are anything but encouraging. Every year more than 40,000 people die and more than one million get hurt in road accidents in the European Union. This is why e-safety technologies, such as ESC are so important, and will become even more important in the coming years.


According to the results of the latest surveys, Safety-Technopro and CVIS, with the participation of the RACC, 72.1 per cent of Spanish drivers would be willing to learn and train in the use of new technologies in order to improve safety at the wheel. A majority – 63 per cent of those polled – are familiar with the ESC system, but need more information provided when buying a car.


Providing as much information as possible to drivers is a major priority. This is even more of a concern considering that the availability of ESC is very different when comparing countries. In fact, there are huge differences within car categories even in the same market. In Spain, for example, small MPVs have the largest margin of improvement, whereas large family cars and executive cars are those most fitted with ESC as standard.


The figures serve to emphasise the reliability and utility of this technology. ESC reduces the risk of having an accident under wet road conditions and ice by almost 40 per cent, and 80 per cent in case of crashes after skidding. If all vehicles in Spain were fitted with ESC as standard there would have been 600 fewer deaths, according to data from 2005.


The ¡Exija ESC! campaign was launched at the RACC Advanced Driving School in Madrid. The event, watched by almost 200 people, was also attended by the Director General of the Spanish Road Traffic Authority, Pere Navarro, and the Chairman of the Road Safety Commission of the Spanish Congress, Jordi Jané, among other authorities.


The RACC counted on the cooperation of F1 driver Pedro de la Rosa, who featured together with FIA President Max Mosley and former F1 driver Michael Schumacher in a film which gives direct advice to users about the advantages of ESC to increase vehicle safety.

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