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The National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) has mandated the inclusion of electronic stability control (ESC) on all vehicles less than 10,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight sold in the U.S. by the 2012 model year. This new regulation is supported by the NHTSA’s study that analyzed 40,000 crashes over a six-year period, which found that ESC could reduce fatalities in single-vehicle crashes by 30 percent for passenger cars and 63 percent for SUVs. In addition to safety benefits, the study also found that ESC could help avoid a staggering $35 billion dollars in economic losses. While these are extremely substantial and compelling numbers, it is important to understand what’s behind the math.

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