Modes of Transportation

Electronic Stability Control System

The electronic stability control system is a safety system that reduces the risks of skidding and of losing control of your vehicle.

What is ESC?

Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is a safety system that helps you maintain control of your vehicle, in particular when you swerve or brake suddenly to avoid an obstacle, or when the road is slippery.

ESC has its limits and cannot replace safe driving behaviour

For the ESC system to function as effectively as possible, your brakes must be in good condition and your tires must be inflated to the right pressure, in good condition and appropriate for the road and weather conditions.

The ESC system is now mandatory on new passenger vehiclesA motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle, a moped and a minibus. This vehicle must be owned by a natural person, carry up to 9 occupants (where such transportation does not require a permit from the Commission des transports du Québec), and be used mainly for personal purposes.. Some recent used vehicles are also equipped with an ESC system.

Some facts

  • Around 48% of serious crashes are caused by loss of control.
  • Around 23% of accidents causing injury involve a single vehicle (automobile or light truck).
  • ESC systems could help reduce such incidents by 20% to 40%.

How does ESC work?

The system uses sensors that measure several parameters (angle of the steering wheel, vehicle trajectory, etc.) in order to determine the risk of skidding.

When the vehicle starts to skid, the ESC system applies the brakes on one or more wheels and increases or reduces engine power to one or more wheels to keep the vehicle on its course and avoid loss of control. When the ESC system is activated, the ESC indicator light on the dashboard comes on or begins to flash.

Last update: May 27, 2022