FeatureEvidence in Action

Putting the brakes on highway deaths

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Science  10 Feb 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6325, pp. 569
DOI: 10.1126/science.355.6325.569

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Thank an imaginary moose for a major but little-heralded improvement in auto safety. In 1997, a European journalist test driving a new Mercedes-Benz hatchback tried the so-called moose maneuver—an S-shaped swerve to avoid an animal—and flipped the car. He survived, but the high-profile wreck drew attention to rollover risks. And it ultimately led automakers and regulators in Europe and the United States to accelerate policies aimed at equipping all cars with electronic stability control, a combination of antilock brakes and throttle and steering sensors that studies had shown helped drivers keep control. Researchers say it is a little known success story in the world of evidence-based policy.