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ESP® radically reduces accident figures: New US study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety confirms earlier results


· 43 percent fewer fatal accidents with the Electronic Stability Program (ESP®)

· Number of fatal single-vehicle accidents reduced by 56 percent

· ESP® offers the second greatest improvement in safety after the safety belt

The Electronic Stability Program (ESP®) would reduce the number of all fatal accidents involving vehicles that are not fitted with ESP® by 43 percent, while the number of single-vehicle accidents with fatal consequences would fall by 56 percent. This is the conclusion reached by a recently published study carried out by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in North America. Single-vehicle accidents are those that do not involve any other road users. According to the institute, the number of accidents with fatal results in the U.S. would fall by around 10,000 each year if every vehicle were fitted with ESP®. This is almost a third of the present annual total of around 34,000. In consequence, the institute is calling for ESP® to be fitted as standard in every vehicle. ESP® is second only to seat belts in terms of its live safety potential, says the IIHS. The results of the study show that the risk of fatal rollover, a common cause of accidents in North America, is reduced in large off-road vehicles and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) by as much as 80 percent, while the reduction for cars is 77 percent.

These results match those of similar studies carried out in Europe and Asia. “The new study provides further impressive evidence of the effectiveness of the Electronic Stability Program,” says Herbert Hemming, Executive Vice President for Sales in the Bosch Chassis Systems Control Division (brake control systems). “ESP® offers a genuine gain in safety on every road in the world.” In 1995, Bosch was the first supplier in the world to begin series production of ESP®, and has produced more than 20 million systems since then.

ESP® increasingly being fitted as standard equipment
The study confirms initial results published by the IIHS in 2004. The current data, however, is even more meaningful, because more accidents were investigated, and a greater number of different vehicle types were included in the study. Directly following the 2004 publication, North American manufacturers decided to offer the active safety system as standard equipment in nearly all SUV models by the end of 2006. Since then, according to the IIHS, the proportion of newly registered vehicles of this type fitted with ESP® has grown faster than that of comparable cars.

In Europe too, and particularly in Sweden and Germany, a Bosch study shows that the proportion of vehicles fitted with ESP® has risen over recent years. 85 percent of newly registered vehicles in Sweden featured the anti-skid system, as did 72 percent in Germany, in the latter case an increase of 7 percent over the previous year. The proportion of European vehicles fitted with the system in 2005 was 40 percent. The class of the vehicle, however, plays a significant role in the question of whether ESP® is fitted. Whereas nearly all deluxe and mid-size European models include the active safety system, the share of compact-class vehicles (which sell in large numbers) featuring the system varies sharply from one country to another, ranging from more than 90 percent to less than 40 percent. And across Europe, only about one in twelve of cars below the compact class is fitted with ESP®. “Too few, given that it is precisely this kind of car that is driven by inexperienced, young people,” says Hemming. “It is precisely these drivers who need the guardian angel of ESP®.”

The Bosch Group is a leading global manufacturer of automotive and industrial technology, consumer goods, and building technology. In fiscal 2005, some 251,000 associates generated sales of 41.5 billion euros. Set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering,” the Bosch Group today comprises a manufacturing, sales, and after-sales service network of more than 280 subsidiaries and more than 12,000 Bosch service centers in over 140 countries.

The special ownership structure of the Bosch Group guarantees its financial independence and entrepreneurial freedom. It makes it possible for the company to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future, as well as to do justice to its social responsibility in a manner reflective of the spirit and will of its founder. 92 % of the shares of Robert Bosch GmbH are held by the charitable foundation Robert Bosch Stiftung. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG.

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PI5495 - July 2006


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