RESEARCH has revealed 41 lives lost on Victorian roads last year could have been saved if the cars involved had been fitted with common safety technology.
The TAC, Monash University Accident Research Centre and Swedish Transport Administration have studied the likely impact of Electronic Stability Control (ESC) in all fatal crashes involving lane departures last year.
The study found, of the 291 deaths on Victorian roads last year, 140 resulted from lane departure crashes — two of which occurred in Campaspe Shire.
Of the 140 deaths, 41 could have been prevented if the vehicles involved had functioning ESC.
Most of the preventable deaths happened on country roads. Researchers also found in some fatal crashes, cars were fitted with ESC but the feature had been turned off.
ESC senses when a vehicle is losing control and automatically applies braking to individual wheels to put the car back on its intended path.
Official data from 2016 shows 31 per cent of registered cars in Victoria are fitted with ESC.
TAC lead director road safety Samantha Cockfield encouraged people buying a used car to insist on ESC and side curtain airbags ‘‘because these features can really save lives’’.