While most developed countries have made it mandatory for cars to come with essential safety systems, some unfortunately still lag behind when it comes to implementing such regulations. The days of shouting about merely having ABS or even pompously making it and optional extra, should be over.
Today’s consumers have become more aware of, prioritise and demand for safety over everything else (and rightfully so), prompting automakers to feature safety systems such as ABS, Traction Control, Electronic Stability Control among other as standard equipment to ensure that if the driver runs out of talent behind the wheel, the vehicle can step in and competently recover the situation.
A Reddit user recently posted this incident that happened while she was behind the wheel of a Volkswagen Golf with her boyfriend and two other friends. They were driving along a stretch that had one of those “little crests” that when you went over it at speed, makes your stomach feel funny. Usually she’d just go pass it within the speed limit (100 km/h) and they’d all have a laugh in amusement.
That particular day, she decided to go faster having been influenced by her (what seemed like an mindless) boyfriend to push the boundaries a little and scare the rear passengers but what happened went beyond their expectations. As she sped up to around 140 km/h, the car caught some air and when it landed, she lost control of it and it began swaying hard, from side to side.
Upon regaining control of the vehicle, she realised had it not been for the Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) feature in her car, things could’ve ended up worse than it did. She claimed that the wheels had lost traction and it felt as if the car took over, correcting itself back on course.
Having took the same way back, she spotted the trail of skid marks her car’s tyres left behind, presumably as it try to regain control on its own – realising how the little things we usually neglect to know about a car, had saved her.
The Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) essentially helps provide the vehicle with optimum traction at all times and should not to be confused as a performance-enhancing system. In the event the vehicle starts skidding, it automatically applies the brakes on each wheel individually to help the vehicle regain composure and “steer” it back on course. Variations of this system also help reduce engine speed to mitigate the loss of control. All Volkswagens in Malaysia, the Golf, Polo, Beetle, Passat, Jetta, Vento and Tiguan come with such a feature.