By on January 18, 2018

Mustang GT Performance Pack Level 2

It’s looking like the winter of 2018 is something many of us will talk about, probably with much venom and/or wonder, in the years to come. Unpredictable, erratic, and prone to extremes — at least so far. North Carolina received a blizzard yesterday, providing Bozi Tatarevic’s WRX with an opportunity to shine. As for myself, upon returning home from Detroit I discovered my car’s doors sealed shut with ice. Nothing short of a blowtorch will pry those portals open.

Oh well. It’s going to warm up this week. I have a bottle of Jack and a selection of non-perishables.

While in Detroit, a colleague told of his adventure on a slushy, crowded Toronto-area highway, during which the back end of his F-150 got very loose while navigating the shallowest of turns at high speed. Electronic stability control kicked in, did its job, and the trip continued without incident. This got me to thinking — with new cars leaving the factory with an ever-increasing roster of electronic nannies, how often do these driver aids actually avert disaster?

Have you ever had your ass hauled out of the fire by the last-second intervention of a newfangled safety feature?

To avoid making this question too broad, we’ll exempt things like airbags and seatbelts from the criteria, as well as anti-lock brakes. Only driver aids from the last several years apply: blind spot monitoring, lane-holding, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic emergency braking, collision warning, and the always useful stability control. Maybe it was a backup camera that prevented tragedy. The list goes on and on.

A few times, I’ve had a press car deploy the brakes prematurely to head off a collision, but only because the previous driver cranked the system to its most sensitive setting. In all of those incidents, however, my eyes were on the road ahead and there was plenty of time to put my right leg to use. The same might not true for some of our readers.

Let us know what happened to make you glad you shelled out for a well-equipped vehicle.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

73 Comments on “QOTD: Has Technology Ever Saved Your Hide?...”


  • avatar
    psychoboy

    Saved? Not yet.

    I /have/ had the ABS system of an 06 Accord give totally up due to some washboarded pavement and I plowed into the side of a car who ran a stop sign….so that’s one for the Loss column.

  • avatar
    NoID

    Lane Departure Warning has kept me alive during a drive where I was far too fatigued to be on the road.

    ESC saved me from over-cooking a tight highway on ramp in a rental Impala LTZ, but had it not been active I simply would have entered the highway through the grass instead of the paved ramp.

    Other than that, all the nannies have saved me from is a good time.

  • avatar
    Nick_515

    Yup. ESC on my last Audi. I had the cruise on at 70 on a dark 55mph two lane road in the Finger Lakes. I’d battled rush hour traffic leaving NYC and it was around midnight on 15 degree weather. I got scared of an upcoming turn and disengaged cruise about 30 feet before entering it, but did not touch the gas or brakes. I don’t know if that’s what did it, but I felt the car unsettle and the orange flash in the dashboard. Felt like car went out under me. Then back to traction and drive out of it unscathed. I saw the tree I’d have hit without the nannies. That kind of fear is something else.

  • avatar
    IHateCars

    ESC has saved my bacon a few times in very similar circumstances as your colleague Steph. Came in a bit too hot on a long on ramp with my Raptor in slushy conditions when the rear end started to slide out….ESC kicked in and straightened it out before I knew what was happening.Now I never leave it off unless I’m playing in the mud.

    Hill Descent Control is a nice feature as well.

  • avatar
    fleeno

    Forward emergency braking probably saved me once from someone who pulled out in front of me. It went on before I even started to react.

    It also goes off on a certain curve near my house where the car briefly gets pointed right at a big electrical box. It always taps the brakes for a second, but doesn’t fully engage. I guess that’s how I know it’s working!

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Now I know that I don’t need a car with emergency braking because I love driving through those curves, and we have places where either trees or even houses are literally 2 yards from the road. I always think of the poor people who one time going to get killed inside their own house by some drunk dude.

  • avatar
    srh

    Anytime someone of average driving ability safely pilots a 300+ HP vehicle down a straight road, it’s thanks to modern safety features.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    Driving home with the kids in our FWD sedan and the stupid thing came with summer tires. Since it was 40* out I took the off ramp at 42 instead of my normal 70+ and about midway through the back end started stepping out. I rolled the throttle on and turned into it. Then the frakking ESC decided to “help” by triggering the ABS and contermanding what I was doing*. What would have been an easy save freaked the car out and there would have been less drama had it kept quiet. When it was all said and done my 14 year old daughter looked over at me and said deadpan “Get a little loose?”

    *Growing up in the upper midwest you learn to deal with those happening a time or two in your lifetime by “practicing” a lot.

    • 0 avatar
      Dilrod

      I have the same experience (Minnesota). ESC has made stopping in snowy icy conditions much better (and more certain) than in the old days.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      …When it was all said and done my 14 year old daughter looked over at me and said deadpan “Get a little loose?”…

      You are raising her well. I dated a girl who told me that “you are supposed to slow down for curves”..Dumped her. Another date I took on a series of cloverleafs – she said “that was fun”…she is now my wife.

      I can’t believe how many people are against having fun in a car.

  • avatar
    dchturbo

    Blind spot has saved me from a fender bender before. I always look behind me, not just at the mirrors. But the car next to me was accelerating and in between my turning and looking at the mirror it had kind of moved through my B-pillar. It has also warned me of an oncoming car backing out of a spot, but I would have seen it, just not as quickly.

    ESC probably has saved me before, but the good systems act transparently and I don’t think we know everytime they save us.

    I’m a pretty good driver. I don’t like to put myself in situations that I can’t get out of. But they’re good to have. My other car has nothing-not even rear seat belts.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      I would say, a good driver knows what is around his/her car at any given moment. And would know about accelerating vehicle ahead of time.

      • 0 avatar
        dchturbo

        It was a look, look, look again and in between the guy pushed himself from my small blind spot to another small blind spot. No crash, cuz I still saw him, but the BSM helped. It’s just a nice feature to have.

        I have noticed, as others have as well, that a lot of the newer cars have very thick A-pillars which cause a front blind spot.

    • 0 avatar
      statikboy

      “I’m a pretty good driver.” – said the 18 to 30 year old me.

      We all like to think so. After 26 years of driving all I can legitimately claim is “I’m a far better driver than I used to be.”

    • 0 avatar
      grrr

      Blind spot monitoring has saved me a crash too – merging on a foggy, dark night to find a grey car driving with it’s lights off in my blind spot. Could only just spot it after noting the blind spot monitoring alert.

  • avatar
    chaparral

    The TPMS light came on while I was driving on a straight road, and I pulled into a tire shop. They found a nail and plugged it.

    If I’d waited until the car had gotten wobbly on a straightaway I would’ve shredded the tire and probably damaged the fender.

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-Iron

      My TPMS cries wolf all the time.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Mine too. Unless it is “FLASHING” which is more important I just whip out the gauge and check them.

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        @ Detriot-Iron do you check your pressure and fill to the recommended cold inflation pressure on the placard after driving a mile or more? Many times people will inflate their “hot” (relative to ambient) tires to the cold inflation pressure inadvertently leaving them under pressurized instead of adding 4 psi to the cold inflation pressure.

        Doing that and then say going through a drop in temperature can lower the pressure enough in the tires to trigger the TPMS system.

        Another overlooked item is the spare. Some manufacturers install a TPMS sensor on the spare as well and oft times people forget to check the pressure in the spare also causing the system to illuminate.

        A solid light indicates low pressure and a flashing light indicates a TPMS failure of some sort (low or dead battery, bad sensor or module and so on).

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      That nail probably was in your tire for a month before pressure went low enough to trip TPMS.

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper35

      I guess that has helped us also. We had to stop and put 50psi in the tire to make it to the tire shop because I did not want to unload everything to get to the spare. Had we gotten past town we would have had to use the spare so good on the TPMS for letting us know!

  • avatar
    Tinn-Can

    Backup camera and the beeping sensors let me park my truck in my garage with about 5″ to spare between the front and back… Otherwise, traction control just cuts power when we get into mud and ruins things…

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      My traction control will back off, if I continue to depress the gas.

      Otherwise, yes my backup beepers allow me to back my land yacht (with poor rearward visibility) into parking spaces.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Nope. Only car I ever owned that had anything listed was the smart car, and the traction control was annoying in the handful of situations where it activated (autocross, spinning through a snowbank).

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    Blind Spot warning system is not a new development. My 73 Ford F250 came standard with it. It’s called properly adjusted side view mirrors. If you really want to “tech” it up add some bubble mirrors. Most blind spots are created by drivers adjusting their side view mirrors to become redundant rear view mirrors. Crazy.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    Wouldn’t know, I turn traction control completely off every time I drive. Only “aid” I like is ABS but that’s more of a mechanical device than an electronic nanny.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick_515

      You remind me of a friend of mine who gave me a ride in her small boxy Jeep once. On a snowy highway, I wondered why her Traction Control OFF light was on in the dashboard. She said: oh, that’s what you press to get the 4×4 on in the snow! I come back to that moment often in my mind…

    • 0 avatar
      Truckducken

      Same here…it tends to turn an FWD car’s front end into a snowplow at the same time you’re trying to pull your way thru a turn.

      • 0 avatar
        IBx1

        ’95 Riviera – FWD, traction control only kept me in the snow when trying to rock it out of a parking spot in the driveway.

        ’02 Si – FWD, didn’t have TC.

        Moved to Texas

        ’00 F-250 7.3 – RWD, didn’t have TC, and broke its tires loose in the rain with 600 lb-ft.

        ’13 Abarth – FWD, turn off TC so I can make big backfires by playing with the throttle and not freaking the computer out to lock up the brakes.

  • avatar
    mikey

    This is my third, and by far harshest winter, driving an EB Mustang . I had a little “pucker moment ” on a snow covered residential street. Uphill ,long curve, and numerous parked cars. I was a little heavy on the gas, and the the rear end broke loose . ESC corrected, no damage done..

    In that situation could I have corrected, before I had tagged a parked car??? Maybe.. but I was just as happy that the ESC did it for me.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Reminds me of learning to drive on 1980s Detroit Sleds and Dad telling me during a snow storm: “You can steer with the throttle or the wheel, but not both at once.”

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Crumple zones and seatbelts saved my hide when a drunk in a pickup rear ended me at a red light in 2001. I guess that’s technology, old technology. 40 mph street and he never applied his brakes. My Grand Prix folded like an accordion. I required three spinal fusions and misssd almost three years of work. The firemen said I would have had head injuries if not for the seatbelt. All that car had was a driver airbag in the steering wheel and it never went off. I’m glad I wasn’t in my Wrangler that night. New tech has saved me from hitting the garage door a few times, that’s about it.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    VSC working with the 4wd system that had the ability to independently brake a slipping wheel and transfer power to the wheels with the most grip.

    Going just a little to fast on a snowy highway into a sweeping downhill curve. It was the first winter I had 4wd and I was a little overconfident, but it is now one of the reasons that I prefer a system that sends power to both ends of the vehicle all the time instead of having wait for a “FWD until $hit happens” AWD system.

    • 0 avatar

      I saw the slow reaction of the CR-V’s AWD system the other day. A guy was pulling out from a parking lot where a big circular area of snow had been left behind (while most of the road cleared). The guy’s front tires were on snow while the rear ones were on dry pavement.

      It took a good 2 seconds of fronts spinning uselessly before the back ones kicked in to help out and move him out into the street.

      Seemed less than ideal.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I know I’m going to be stumping salesmen on my next shopping trip asking things like: “So when the 4×4 knob is set to “AUTO” does the system default to 50/50 torque split?”

        (Of course I’ll have already done my own research but I do love to know if people know the first thing about the product their selling.)

  • avatar
    slavuta

    I should not post this comment since there is nothing to post, since I never was saved nor ever had any of these technologies on any of my current 4 cars

  • avatar
    01 Deville

    Trying to get on 95 in Stratford CT, you basically have a U underneath the bridge and have to be in leftlane to get onto the ramp. I was in front in right lane and accelerated hard so that I can move over to left,. There was snow on the ground, I had all weather tires and there was a bridge wall in front of me. What can I say? I was younger and CT conditions you to drive like a a maniac.
    Had I been driving my 95 fleetwood with its primitive ABS and traction control I probably would not have been able to break or turn and ended up in the wall. The 01 Deville with stabilitrack saved my hide, there was constant noise, but the car kept the arc that I intended by braking inner wheels while keeping power on the outer wheels. I couldn’t believe that the car maintained the course I intended for it.

  • avatar
    jh26036

    All the time, crumple zones, ESC, better tires…

  • avatar
    THE_F0nz

    Driving on 696 West at Orchard Lake road heading home. Black 2002 Volvo C70 Coupe with snow tires. (2.3l HPT, none of that 2.4l silliness)

    The temperature dropped from 25 F to -5 in a matter of a couple hours one evening, and it was well after midnight.

    I was tired on a weeknight, but in this case someone important to me was in a very, very bad state. (A booty call would be a better story, but alas this was related to far more serious issues.)

    696 in this area is a very wide highway, and I remained in a middle lane.

    I started seeing (what looked like) spotlights in the distance. I realized as I approached that they were the people in the ditches with their headlights heading toward the sky.

    I looked down and the The traction / stability control light remained lit. Not blinking, solidly lit. It was too late for me to pull over: The entire highway was a sheet of black ice, and I am sliding at 60 mph.

    I took my foot off the gas at first. The car remained straight.

    I touched the gas a little too much, the wheels spun at first, and the car remained straight.

    I lightly touched the gas to get me through to a safer area, and you guessed it, the car remained straight. (If you know the area, there is only one exit – Orchard Lake. If you are past that? 5 miles to 275)

    Just an awesome tank of a coupe that was. Drove like it was machined from a solid block of steel.

  • avatar
    spookiness

    My lowly Focus is the first vehicle I’ve had with ESC. It saved my butt one night I was driving driving too fast, in the rain, on a dark rural road I’d never been on. Went into the curve way too fast, and it was over and I was through it safely in about the time it took to say oh sh#t.

  • avatar
    Matheau Luers

    2017 F150 SCrew with Cross Traffic Alert. Backing out of a parking spot it has been perfect at alerting to traffic coming from the left or right, well before I could see it.

  • avatar
    Nick 2012

    I was in a car where ESC saved the day due to the driver applying a huge amount of steering to steer around a truck tire in a minivan during winter.

    Emergency auto-braking probably saved me from a fender-bender. I was taking my kids to the Field Museum and crawling along on the Dan Ryan at 10-20 mph, when one hit the other and caused a spill. I turned around for a half second to see what happened and if anyone drew blood. At the same time, traffic came to a sudden stop and the car started honking. I caught it to prevent the car from stopping itself, but that alert made me turn around faster than I may otherwise have.

  • avatar
    brettc

    Can’t think of any time I’ve been saved by nannies (cue Fran Drescher laugh) but I do enjoy turning off traction control on my Sportwagen and turning corners with the E-brake pulled when the roads are snow covered. Try doing that in a car with an “Electronic parking brake”.

  • avatar

    In 1995 I was on a rural highway covered with snow and ice outside Prague in the Czech Republic. I was in a Chevrolet S-10 pickup with then-not-as-sophisticated-as-today’s ABS brakes. I had sped up to pass a rusty Skoda driven by an elderly man. Just as I was approaching near his left rear quarter, he turned 90 degrees left across my path into the right lane of a minor road. There was not enough time to slow and let him turn, so I used the ABS to help maintain control and turned left inside of his turn – into the opposite direction lane of the minor road. It increased my heartbeat CONSIDERABLY, but we never touched. Without the ABS, I would probably have t-boned the rusty Skoda, likely in the driver’s door, and perhaps seriously injured or killed its elderly driver.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    BSM in my 08 CX9 has kept me from making a bad move however back in 95 I didnt have much experience with ABS even though I read about it alot in buff books. Learned very quickly that ABS and Chicago ice and snow do not mix.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Technology has saved my hide many times. 36 spf sunblock has so far saved my hide from serious burns or skin cancer. A regular application of good leather conditioner has also saved the hide of my vehicles leather seats.

  • avatar

    I’ve had ABS stop me quicker a couple of times than I could’ve with standard hard panic braking. Saved me from rear-ending someone.

    ESC and traction control have helped some places and hindered in others.

  • avatar
    BunkerMan

    The weather here in Atlantic Canada has seen dramatic temperature swings, long periods of sub -15C temperatures, and a fair amount of rain and snow. In other words, it’s been normal. There is no reason that this one will stand out in anyone’s memory (here at least.)

    As for nannies saving my hide? I wouldn’t go that far. My traction control, ABS, and (sometimes) ESC kick in almost every day in winter, just driving to and from work. I work in an industrial park where road maintenance is an afterthought.

    I wish there was an ABS override button on the steering wheel or something to shut it off while driving on ice. Threshold braking works so much better. Have the ABS on by default, but have the choice at least. I can do it now by holding the ESC button down for however many seconds, but it needs to be more “on-demand”.

    I hate when I am braking on a slippery city street and my foot goes down a bit too far, causing the ABS to kick in. The car usually feels like it is accelerating instead of stopping. It’s annoying and dangerous.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      You’re in a climate where you should just buy some decent tires. Good winter tires convert ABS from a nuisance to a legitimate benefit in winter conditions.

      http://www.skstuds.ca/2016/01/28/how-abs-makes-bad-tires-worse/

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      I’d have to say that “the nannies” have prevented crashes in my ex’s minivan. ABS and stability control saved our azzes a few times in panic braking due to nimrods in front stopping for no logical reason.

      My truck on the other hand, “the nannies” have helped and hindered. I attribute that comment to the fact that “the nannies” are programmed for *average* drivers in *average* conditions.
      I’ve been in the back country in deep snow with “the nannies” off but cross that magical automatic reactivation threshold and on they go. I was climbing a long uphill with a gentle sweeping corner. “The nannies” detected 4 wheel drift and activated. It brakes and cut power. I had the dubious task of backing down the long hill and to try again. A similar even occurred on a greasy off-camber uphill. “The nannies” kicked in and almost put me into the trees.
      Another problem is driving single track roads and having to move over to meet traffic. Once your wheels hit more dense snow, it pulls. The simple approach is to apply some counter-steer and extra throttle. “the nannies” detect under-steer and cut power and apply brakes. That effectively puts you into the snow bank. it hasn’t happened to me but I know several fellows who have had that happen.
      Over-steer is another PITA. Usually the smoothest and safest way out of the rear sliding is to gently power out of it with counter-steer and throttle. Anyone who has high-sided a motorcycle knows what I mean. The nannies kick in and usually causes lurching and unsettles the entire chassis.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    ABS saved me in my 1998 Lumina when a BMW stopped for no apparent reason in the rain/fog. When I can to a stop, I was parallel to him on the inside shoulder. In other words, had I not kept steering control, I’d have certainly hit him.

  • avatar
    JMII

    VDC (vehicle dramatic control), aka traction control (TCS) plus stability (ECS) combined with ABS in Nissan speak, it even includes a yaw sensor to tell if your rotating.

    On the very first day I had my 350Z I took an off ramp in the rain, but due to not being familiar with such a tight shifter gate I downshifted from 5th to 2nd instead of 4th. As you can imagine the revs shot up and rear tires spun. The nanny came on (after a slight wiggle to the rear end) and saved me from what would have been sure wreck and the loss of a new (to me) car on day #1 of ownership!

    Since then I’ve used it during track days countless times. Pretty much every corner entry and exit while exploring the car’s limits causes the system to come on. However once you understand what you are doing the system doesn’t slow you down. Because honestly it if you are sliding or spinning your tires you are lossing time on track. So on a clean run the system should not kick in when you are smooth and hit your marks. It works remarkable well. Thus if you see a crashed 350Z I can almost guarantee its either a base model (without the system) or someone who turned it off trying to be a hero. Because as is the nanny kicks in early and often. Even my wife has had the VDC come on in her Infiniti Q60 while taking a corner in the rain.

  • avatar
    MLS

    I was driving a rental Volvo S60 in a busy shopping mall parking lot a few years ago. I wasn’t paying close enough attention, and the car ahead of me stopped abruptly to wait for a spot that was about to open. The City Safety system braked my car to a halt. Can’t say whether or not I would have noticed and braked on my own in time, but, embarrassment aside, the incident was a cool demonstration of the technology.

  • avatar
    Jeremiah Mckenna

    I’d say that it is actually more often than not that the systems have saved us from ourselves, and we never even knew it or noticed it was at work.

    It is obvious when we are on wet or icy/snowy roads and the car starts to move in an unintended motion and then corrects its self. But there are a ton of times where the ABS/TC comes in to play and correct the situation on dry or normal conditions and saves our hide, or rather the cars hide, and we don’t notice.

    As time has gone by and the systems have evolved, we now see the collision mitigation systems that have audible and visual clues when they are working or telling you to make a correction. This means that we are now aware of them working, where as the older, simpler systems like ABS.

    But I can tell you that I have used the systems in several of my vehicles in order to push the car farther than I would have been able to on the car had it not been on. In fact, I have turned the systems off on a few of the cars that would allow and driven the same course back to back with noticeable difference.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Yes. Just about 6 weeks ago.

    I was driving on the West Seattle Bridge (westbound). It was night, some light rain. My Avalanche was in 2WD, tires are in good shape, and I was following the speed limit. Just toward the end of the bridge, as it banks left into the city, there must have been some diesel, oil, or other substance on the road. The truck without warning went into a skid, started heading left right toward the K-rail. Before I could even lift my foot off the throttle, Stabilitrak had kicked in, power was cut, and the truck was straight again.

    Without stability control, no question I would have eaten the rail and been standing there after going, “what the f*** just happened.” It was a blink.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @APaGttH – I’ve been out and about in my truck is some truly icy stuff in 4×2 and wondered how much contribution the nannies provide. That same day I had that thought pass through my head, I had to go out again to run some unscheduled errands.I shut off the nannies and stayed below the speed limited reactivation threshold. I worked my azz off keeping the thing straight and to control wheel spin and brake locking. It was an epiphany.

  • avatar
    Garrett

    Automatic braking saved me once when a minivan I was behind decided to come to a halt in an intersection for no clear reason after the light turned green and we both began to enter the intersection. It was slightly uphill and he decided to take his foot off the gas and not apply the brakes.

    Another save was run flat tires. Picked up a large piece of metal, and was able to drive to a safe place to get it fixed.

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    ABS has on quite a few occasions. I’ve driven longer with ABS vehicles than I ever did without. Traction control on FWD cars is annoying, yet turning it off on many vehicles also disables the ESC (stability control) too. On RWD cars, it’s welcome.

    I’m torn on ESC and the various lane monitors, etc. I was on a wet highway and, in hindsight, too fast for the water ponding. I was just easing off the gas when the car began to hydroplane. The stablity control on the Cruze kicked in abruptly, making the situation nearly worse. The car darted side to side, but under control. Luckily there was no one around me.

    I did not love the ESC in that situation, but would the outcome have been different if I didn’t have it? Would I have gone out of control or just slid a little bit as I’m accustomed to in non-ESC cars ( our 08 Mazda 5 had ABS but didn’t have ESC or TCS. The next year it was standard, along with TCS and ABS)

    Our Odyssey was my first experience with forward collision warning. When the car was new, it was a bit too sensitive, even on it’s lowest sensitivity. By the end, the system “falsed” quite often. But I didn’t want to turn it off because there could be that ONE time it might have saved me or the wife. Lane Departure warning? Turned that off the first day. Lanewatch was odd at first, but it became useful.

    The reverse sensing and back up cams are welcome tech. Everything is so tall and has miserable sightlines inside and out (compared to the 80’s and 90’s stuff I learned to drive in) that backing up at the local shopping center sucks. The extra “situational awareness” provided is welcome, but only if you use it as the tool it should be, not solely on its own.

  • avatar
    Cameron Kelley

    ITT: Macho men who don’t need no stinkin’ ‘puters

  • avatar
    200k-min

    The forward collision warning on my Fusion has probably saved me a couple times from rear ending someone. Not sure since I’ve put on a ton of miles in former vehicles with no such equipment and never hit someone…so maybe it just saved some tires and brake life. Hard to say but it’s nice to have.

    ABS brakes aren’t exactly new but they have saved me countless times on winter roads.

    What I really like that I’ll never get another car without is the proximity sensors all around. For parking or maneuvering in tight spaces that system is amazing. Not sure it has “saved” me but damn that’s nice to have.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    Nope. That stuff has never been anything but an annoyance to me. I appreciate ABS for its ability to prevent flat-spotting or stud damage though.

    I would certainly prefer that my female friends and family have stability control. I’d even prefer to have it available for myself at times if it could be conveniently and completely enabled and disabled. But good tires are still a far more valuable safety feature.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Stability control once saved me from crashing my G8 GXP into a wall in the wet. Too hot on a narrow onramp in DC that had walls on both sides. I partly blame the awful RS-As; I hadn’t yet internalized just how slick the supposedly “all-season” things were in rain.

    I think a lot of people in this thread who judge themselves too manly for ESC have probably had the same experience and not realized it.

    Traction control, as opposed to stability control, can be annoying in the rain and snow when a bit of wheelspin can be helpful. I wish you could turn off the former without turning off the latter.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Stability control in the G8 is fantastic. Not very intrusive and kicks in only when the fun stops being fun.

      When I was doing my first DPE training the instructor had me going through a section of the course repeatedly with stability control on and off. When it was on he kept asking, “are you sure it’s on,” and I’m telling him yes it was on. He loved it – told me that his Porsche was way more obtrusive.

      I’m going to be selling my G8 this spring – it is just sitting like a museum piece and traffic in Seattle has gotten so bad there is just really no place to drive it with any degree of fun.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      “I think a lot of people in this thread who judge themselves too manly for ESC have probably had the same experience and not realized it.”

      I don’t think that’s a judgement call for most of us who despise the mandatory and intrusive nature of many of those systems. It’s just the way we’re wired.

      If I could choose, I would have never even been as aggressive and impulsive as I am now, let alone when I was under 25. I would accept that I don’t need to have full control over everything I operate and that life will continue on in pleasant enough fashion even if I can’t optimize the machine’s behavior myself or entertain my impulses.

      Unfortunately, it’s in my nature to want to put my fist through the dash of any vehicle that prohibits me from doing something I’ve done tens of thousands of times before in other vehicles.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    Definitely a couple saves. ABS certainly a couple times let me steer around things. A few gentle interventions in the snow when it was a tad slipperier than expected.

    I have never had a problem with traction control in the snow with FWD, RWD, or AWD. But I also run proper tires… Without snow tires ABS can be downright scary when it is slippery – my Range Rover in particular would GO just fine in the snow, but it just wouldn’t stop at all. With snow tires you would think the pavement was bare and dry.

  • avatar
    gosteelerz

    I wouldn’t know. You drive differently when you have all of these do dads, dare I say with less care. If I turn off all the help on my 2014 Mustang, it forces a much smoother approach when driving in the snow.

    You tend to do less stupid things if you don’t have active safety equipment available to bail you out.

  • avatar
    raph

    I’ve talked about it before but the suite of passive safety technologies certainly minimized the damage that could have occurred when a kid in an 07 Civic decided to take one for the team and hit my 2015 Mustang GT head on before I could cause any carnage at the local C&C.

    The Civic driver wasn’t so lucky as they had to cut him from his car and haul him away in an ambulance.

    TPMS one time on my old GT500 went off when I ejected a nail in the rear tire at a rather high rate of speed (over 125 IIRC), that could have been messy if the tire had blown out at a high rate of speed.

    Most recently at Ford’s Track Attack in the school GT350 I went into a turn a little too hot and could feel the stability control system working its magic and preventing me from having to shell out 5k to replace the car (Ford offers insurance with a 5k deductible but still when your not making payments on the car you tend to be a little more aggressive).

  • avatar
    pwrwrench

    I do not have a vehicle with any of this stuff. The SOs Mustang has ABS which has activated a few times.
    I think that this stuff is working for others. Over time I have seen many houses on corners and intersections that regularly have to replace/repair walls and fences due to late night weekend enthusiasts.
    A house 1/4 mile down the road from mine is on a 90 deg bend and often had cars go through a fence and into their pool. They put a bunch of washing machine size boulders in the yard in front of the fence. There has not been a crash there in at least 4 years so the tech devices might be having some success.

  • avatar
    HahnZahn

    Yes. The AEB part of the EyeSight suite in my new Impreza in all likelihood prevented an accident about a week after I got it last year.

    I was exiting the freeway when another car decided to also exit in front of me very late. The offramp at this particular exit is usually very open, though curvy. On this morning, it was backed up. The driver who yoinked in front of me at the last instant then had to slam on her brakes due to the backup she probably couldn’t see due to the curves and driving like an idiot.

    I was already moving my foot to brake, then the AEB kicked in even sooner. It was hard enough to trigger the antilock brakes. Nothing quite like feeling that sickening vibration in your brand-new car due to someone else’s negligence. I don’t know that it 100% prevented the accident, but it didn’t hurt. That incident also was the factor that led to me getting a dashcam. I see a lot of skeptics on car websites who arrogantly declare that “just paying attention” prevents accidents, but this technology can only help.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • jack4x: With the high likelihood of this being the last V8 sedan I’m able to buy, the Lexus durability...
  • FreedMike: No, Marx was not saying a centrally controlled market would yield competition. In fact, competition would...
  • Lou_BC: “you’re writing about abortion because Kia introduced a new minivan” Believe it or not…I...
  • Lou_BC: You win the internet.
  • Lou_BC: “Blood samples taken at the hospital” only if legally collected. One has to be “read their...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber