GMC talked about the safety benefits provided by StabiliTrak with traction control technology, which is offered as standard on the 2011 GMC Terrain. GMC dubs this safety feature as the “control freak” as it is an advanced, computer-controlled system that helps with directional control in hard driving conditions.
StabiliTrak is activated once the computer senses a difference between the intended path and the direction that the vehicle is traveling. To help steer the vehicle in the right direction, StabiliTrak may apply braking pressure to the brakes or it may reduce the engine power.
These moves occur in milliseconds without requiring any driver input. Performance integration engineer Bret Dick, who helped develop StabiliTrak, said, “The best crash is the crash you avoid." He said that active safety systems such as StabiliTrak with traction control are meant to keep the GMC Terrain on the road while avoiding spinouts.
He added that this technology will be developed further to increase road safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said that electronic stability control systems like StabiliTrak have cut the risk of being involved in a fatal crash by 33% in the past decade.
In fact, it’s considered to be the most significant safety feature since the safety belt was developed. The GMC Terrain also offers other safety features like the head curtain side air bags and OnStar’s Automatic Crash Response, which alerts first responders to get medical assistance on site immediately.
General Motors was the first local carmaker to make available an electronic stability enhancement system, with GMC offering StabiliTrak in its models in 2003. StabiliTrak is laden with features like traction control, Trailer Sway Control, Rollover Mitigation and Panic Brake Assist – all of which could help prevent crashes.
This technology is of the several GMC safety systems developed to protect vehicle occupants not only before, but also during and after a crash. The new GMC Terrain is also provided with head curtain side air bags that could protect occupants during a crash.
After such incident, OnStar’s Automatic Crash Response will take over to alert first responders for immediate medical assistance. Dick remarked that his interest StabiliTrak engineering was prompted by the BMX trails near his childhood home in Rochester, New York.
He quipped that racing BMX bikes gave birth to his curiosity into how things work, adding that even at the present, he intuitively and mentally breaks a machinery or electronics down to figure out how it works. Since the winter season for 2010-2011 has been particularly harsh in many parts of the United States, Dick remarked that customers have been thanking him for the StabiliTrak with traction control, which helped them avoid crashes in rough weather.