Upright is good

Tachometer

Expect to find anti-rollover technology become standard equipment on all new cars and trucks over the next several years.

That's because the government will require electronic stability control by the 2012 model year. The Transportation Department says it will prevent between 5,300 and 9,600 deaths and up to 238,000 injuries a year once every vehicle has it.

The system senses when a driver may lose control of the vehicle and automatically applies brakes to individual wheels to help stabilize it and keep it upright. It helps drivers avoid skidding across icy or slick roads and maintain control when swerving to avoid an unexpected object in the middle of the road.

Until then, we think it's essential to have stability control on sport-utility vehicles, even if it costs extra, because those trucks are more prone to roll-over accidents.