If your car was made in or after 2012, it has a stability control feature. The federal government deemed it such an important kind of technology that it required all cars manufactured after that time to include it. Government officials say the stability control prevents thousands of road-related fatalities each year. However, you might not know how stability control works, or even worse, decide to manually turn it off. Keep reading to discover why the stability control feature is so important.
What Does This Feature Do?
You’ve probably had a few experiences of driving in inclement weather and feeling the unsettling sensation of your tires slipping on the road. When that happens to a vehicle and stability control is enabled, the technology detects when some wheels are spinning faster than others and rapidly reroutes power to the other wheels. If necessary, it can even automatically apply the brakes to an affected wheel, helping you maintain your intended path of travel.
Why Some People Turn Stability Control Off
Based on the information above, you may be curious about why anyone would want to disengage the stability control feature on their cars. Some people do it because they think the stability control makes driving less fun and that by driving without it, they’re taking a risk that makes them feel bold. This line of thought is understandably very dangerous and not recommended.
There are other instances where people are trying to maneuver their cars out of deep snow and they turn off the stability control feature because, in some models, it cuts the engine’s power. Making your way out of a snowy situation may require as much power as your car can offer. However, if you do find it’s better to turn off the stability control feature due to snow, activate it again as soon as you’re out of the powder.
Once you turn the stability control off, keep in mind that some models automatically activate it again after you reach a certain speed. Also, if the feature is not in use when you turn off the car, it may re-engage itself the next time you fire up the engine.
Image via Flickr by justinbaeder
Reasons to Keep Stability Control Enabled
It’s probably now clear that stability control works hard to keep you steady on the road. Beyond that, however, consider that it does that long before you notice there’s a problem. Put simply, it uses special sensors to constantly monitor your wheel rotation speed. The speed at which your wheels are turning isn’t something that’s normally apparent to drivers, and this sensitivity allows stability control to start correcting a problem before a driver could even realize something is wrong.
Also, stability control helps you avoid accidents that might happen by overcorrecting the steering wheel. Most people react instinctively and hardly have time to fix problems once they’ve moved the wheel too much. When stability control works properly, it helps you compensate for overcorrection issues.
Hopefully you’ll no longer be tempted to press the “off” button for your stability control. Keeping stability control enabled could prevent you from getting into accidents, safeguarding both you and fellow drivers.