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Farmers Insurance Applauds Efforts to Mandate Electronic Stability Control as a Vehicle Safety Standard

Los Angeles, CA (April 9, 2007)— Farmers Insurance Group of Companies today announced full support of the new Federal motor vehicle safety standard #126 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The standard mandates electronic stability control (ESC) systems in all vehicles by the 2012 model year.

“We applaud this effort as a means to protect our customers and their property,” noted Kevin Mabe, economist for Farmers Insurance. “This new standard is estimated to save thousands of lives and hundreds of thousands of injuries each year on American roads.”

Mabe explained that a vehicle with ESC assists drivers in regaining control on roads covered in water, ice, or snow by compensating for fishtailing. Furthermore, ESC mitigates the overcorrecting in surprise situations, such as animal crossings or errors by other drivers. Approximately 40% of new vehicles sold today have ESC systems and several automobile manufacturers, such as Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Toyota, intend to beat the 2012 deadline by as many as three years.

Aside from saving lives, ESC systems bring additional benefits. “We have already quantified the statistical impact of safety features, such as airbags, in our loss trends. We surmise that the ESC mandate may lead to a reduction in claim frequency. Farmers continues to encourage manufacturers who make driving more safe, injuries less frequent and accidents more rare,” Mabe added.

“The logistic regression analysis by the NHTSA demonstrates the statistical significance of ESC in reducing single vehicle crashes by 34% in passenger cars and by 59% in SUVs. The study also showed that ESC systems reduced the rate of multi-vehicle crashes. Farmers Insurance, along with the NHTSA, is committed to driver safety and getting our customers back where they belong.” Mabe concluded.

The Farmers Insurance Group® of companies comprises the nation's third-largest personal lines property & casualty insurance group – helping to restore the lives of over 15 million customers when the unexpected happens. Headquartered in Los Angeles and doing business in 41 states, these companies provide homeowners, auto, business, life insurance, recreational products and financial services to more than 10 million households through 48,000 exclusive and independent agents and district managers. For an agent near you, call 1-800-FARMERS or visit http://www.farmers.com .

Sources: NHTSA http://www.safercar.gov/esc/Rule.pdf

Automotive Digest


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