Traction control/ stability control safer car?

Messages
36,465
Location
ME
Up to the limit of tire friction, better. Then when you lose it you're like ??? I tried to help someone out of our parking lot; she had new but cheezy all season tires and it wouldn't even spin them on snow/ slush due to the traction control. I had the pedal floored and it sat there at 1500 RPM. I guess if you get stranded at home or work b/c your car won't try to move, that's "safer". mad
 
Messages
17,931
Location
NH
They are safer. How much safer? I'd have to go read up and find whatever official documents exist. That said, how many Caravan's have you seen in the ditch? I've seen relatively few. IMO vehicle stability control (VSC) is important on trucks/SUV's, or perhaps more properly, more important for those top-heavy vehicles. Is it helpful on other cars? Sure. Critical? Myself, I am not shopping on the basis of that. I'm content with airbags, ABS and crumple zones. I wouldn't trade out of an '05 just because of lack of VSC. Lack of ABS, age, high miles, general distrust of vehicle, or general dislike of vehicle, sure. But I think VSC is chasing diminishing returns in terms of safety. But that's just my opinion.
 
Messages
17,931
Location
NH
eljefino has a point about the traction control, I forgot about that. In my truck, I often have to turn TC off or it won't move in snow. Oddly enough, my Camry is fine with TC on pretty much always--the programming is vastly different. My truck is RWD, Camry is FWD, so they apparently are allowing more wheelspin in that. At least for my age Camry. Snow tires are still recommended, even with TC.
 
Messages
13,616
Location
Frisco, TX
I think it's hard to directly prove that those systems are safer. Police reports don't really have a checkbox for, "did vehicle crash because it did not have stability control." The way I see it is this: nothing is foolproof, but in a panic situation, most people would not know how to keep the car out of a ditch. There are lots of e-thugs on the auto enthusiast websites that like to brag how they drive around with those things turned off ("I know what I'm doing, those systems just annoy me"), which seems pretty stupid. I like to think of myself as a skilled driver that can handle my car at the limits, and even I have been saved a few times by those electronic nannies.
 
Messages
1,530
Location
iowa
Since we are out of snow, find a wide open wet parking lot, and try and lose control of your car. It will make you a believer of stability control. Anything new, you have to try it out with practice, not in a panic situation. And, yes, in deep snow, if you can, turn off the traction control. Practice, don't guess.
 
Messages
17,301
Location
OH
How much safer is a car with ABS than an older one without it? How much safer is a car with a dozen airbags than one with only two? An economist published a paper years ago in which he suggested that vehicle safety enhancements only encouraged people to take chances beyond what they would have taken without them. IOW, the final level of safety ended up being the same. Drivers simply relied upon the nannies to keep them safe in situations where they would have otherwise used more discretion. If you really want to research this, vehicle fatal injury rates by year can be found with a little searching. I think you'll find that the type of vehicle is far more significant than the presence of any particular tech. Minivans are far and away the safest passenger vehicles on the road by fatal injury rates, incidentally. Is it the vehicles themselves, or is it the personally secure, mature types who normally drive them?
 
Messages
40,717
Location
Great Lakes
Originally Posted By: andyd
Meh ,if you if really know to drive, you won't be putting the car into situations where the nanny-ware engages.
Sadly, this is where the industry is going. More and more nannies to make up for people's lack of driving skills and for all the distractions that we subject ourselves to. And with each generation, the general population's ability to actually drive will continue to diminish, until finally most will not know how to do it at all and we'll all be relying on our cars' computers to take us from A to B. The technology is already here, but not yet ready for prime... but soon.
 

Ndx

Messages
1,878
Location
IL
I personally think that it does help in certain situations even for skilled drivers .... and options like hill descent are priceless sometimes ... try doing that manually ...
 
Messages
6,331
Location
KY
Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
Sadly, this is where the industry is going. More and more nannies to make up for people's lack of driving skills and for all the distractions that we subject ourselves to. And with each generation, the general population's ability to actually drive will continue to diminish, until finally most will not know how to do it at all and we'll all be relying on our cars' computers to take us from A to B. The technology is already here, but not yet ready for prime... but soon.
That's the problem with society as a whole; people are too lazy or stupid to learn to do things properly. They want a quick fix that doesn't require any significant effort or thought on their part. And more and more they expect the Nanny State to supply the fix. Read The Marching Morons if you want a textbook example of speculative fiction becoming fact.
 

Seb

Messages
30
Location
Matawan, NJ
Much safer. The people that are telling you that its worthless nanny gear are a bunch of Luddites. I bet there still mad about fuel injection and unleaded gasoline. Doesn't mean your car is a deathtrap but you just need to be more vigilant about driving in nasty conditions if you don't have it. Here is 5th gear explaining and testing traction and stability control. LINK Today cars traction control is a part of stability control. Wasn't always the case, my moms 2001 ES300 has traction control but does not have stability control, it was a optional that you had to pay extra for if you wanted it.
 
Messages
12,925
Location
Northern Kentucky
Originally Posted By: eljefino
Up to the limit of tire friction, better. Then when you lose it you're like ??? I tried to help someone out of our parking lot; she had new but cheezy all season tires and it wouldn't even spin them on snow/ slush due to the traction control. I had the pedal floored and it sat there at 1500 RPM. I guess if you get stranded at home or work b/c your car won't try to move, that's "safer". mad
Most systems that don't have a disable switch will disable if you put them in 1,2 or low depending on the brand. Traction control isn't going to help in snow unless you've got some serious snow tires on awd
 
Messages
17,301
Location
OH
Originally Posted By: MCompact
Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
Sadly, this is where the industry is going. More and more nannies to make up for people's lack of driving skills and for all the distractions that we subject ourselves to. And with each generation, the general population's ability to actually drive will continue to diminish, until finally most will not know how to do it at all and we'll all be relying on our cars' computers to take us from A to B. The technology is already here, but not yet ready for prime... but soon.
That's the problem with society as a whole; people are too lazy or stupid to learn to do things properly. They want a quick fix that doesn't require any significant effort or thought on their part. And more and more they expect the Nanny State to supply the fix. Read The Marching Morons if you want a textbook example of speculative fiction becoming fact.
I think that it's safe to say that everyone here really enjoys cars and the act of driving. I know that I enjoy almost every mile, whether I'm trying to drive fast or just see whether I can drive carefully enough and avoid enough braking to gain a best-ever mpg average out of a tank of fuel. Many, maybe most of us drove crazy in our youths. We learned a lot about car control in the process and we feel confident and tuned in under any conditions today. Not everyone thinks that way. They may need to drive to get where they need to go, but the act of driving is no more than an irritating distraction from the phone glued to their ears or the screen before their eyes on which they're busily answering texts or emails. Driving in any machine is really fun, but many people have never grasped that. For them, more automation is something desirable.
 
Messages
7,502
Location
North America
Originally Posted By: asand1
Its safer for people who don't know how to drive, or tend to panic. I personally think its a nuisance.
+1. IMO over time it can degrade a driver's skill, as they start to rely on it more and more. I am willing to say that most new drivers today don't know how to handle a vehicle without it.
 
Messages
8,598
Location
Florida
GM needed to make a notice on modern Corvettes stating something like Traction control makes the most of a low traction situation, but it can't be depended on careless or illegal driving. I guess they were threatened by legal action by people who crashed and thought that traction control made the car 100% safe in any situation.
 
Messages
24,382
Location
Central Florida
Just because a car has all those safety features, doesn't make the a *better* driver. I've seen so called 'experienced' drivers wreck their car at the track.
 
Messages
7,502
Location
North America
Originally Posted By: artificialist
GM needed to make a notice on modern Corvettes stating something like Traction control makes the most of a low traction situation, but it can't be depended on careless or illegal driving. I guess they were threatened by legal action by people who crashed and thought that traction control made the car 100% safe in any situation.
I have seen a newer owner's manual that states something to the effect it can help in an emergency situation, but cannot overcome the laws of physics. See Scotty's comment here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trekkin' laugh
 
Messages
14,732
Location
Central NY
Originally Posted By: eljefino
Up to the limit of tire friction, better. Then when you lose it you're like ??? I tried to help someone out of our parking lot; she had new but cheezy all season tires and it wouldn't even spin them on snow/ slush due to the traction control. I had the pedal floored and it sat there at 1500 RPM. I guess if you get stranded at home or work b/c your car won't try to move, that's "safer". mad
Or you slide through an intersection because ABS won't let the tires skid to help stop at low speesd ...
 
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