More than 40 people killed on Victorian roads may still be alive if their cars had of been fitted with a common safety feature, new research has found.
Researchers found 140 deaths on Victorian roads last year were caused by lane departures and of those, 41 were preventable if the cars had electronic stability control (ESC).
Thirty of those preventable deaths were on country roads, and in some the ESC was turned off, the study found.
ESC technology senses when a vehicle loses control and automatically brakes, but only 31 per cent of Victorian cars have the feature.
Transport Accident Commission road safety director Samantha Cockfield encouraged people to buy a car with ESC and side curtain airbags “as an absolute minimum”.
The research was conducted by the Transport Accident Commission, Monash University Accident Research Centre and the Swedish Transport Administration.