The roads have been treacherous lately. Drive slower. Drive safer.


The U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) did an investigation of the long term effects of anti-lock brake systems in 2009 here. Interestingly – and logically – ABS systems are not fool proof for slippery roads. You should not rely on them – and slow down.

In fact, based on that study by NHTSA in 2009, electronic stability control helps more:

Statistical analyses based on data for calendar years 1995 to 2007 from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and the General Estimates System (GES) of the National Automotive Sampling System (NASS) estimate the long-term effectiveness of antilock brake systems (ABS) for passenger cars and LTVs (light trucks and vans) subsequent to the 1995 launch of public information programs on how to use ABS correctly. ABS has close to a zero net effect on fatal crash involvements. Fatal run-off-road crashes of passenger cars increased by a statistically significant 9 percent (90% confidence bounds: 3% to 15% increase), offset by a significant 13-percent reduction in fatal collisions with pedestrians (confidence bounds: 5% to 20%) and a significant 12-percent reduction in collisions with other vehicles on wet roads (confidence bounds: 3% to 20%). ABS is quite effective in nonfatal crashes, reducing the overall crash- involvement rate by 6 percent in passenger cars (confidence bounds: 4% to 8%) and by 8 percent in LTVs (confidence bounds: 3% to 11%). The combination of electronic stability control (ESC) and ABS will prevent a large proportion of fatal and nonfatal crashes.

Bottom line, unless you are driving a very new model car with electronic stability control (or an older one that already incorporated it), don’t rely on the ABS plus such system when it’s icy and slippery. Drive slower and be more alert – and put your phone down! Get home in one piece and help others do that as well.

You can contact me here 24/7/365 (and I really mean that as I will answer my phone) if you have any questions about medical bills and their complexities after an accident and to learn how I may be able to help you or your loved one who may need, or simply want, a second opinion – in particular, you will find that I listen, take your phone calls and e-mails (and even text messages–BUT NOT WHILE DRIVING!!). I would be honored to help you with your matters – large or small.


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