The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed a new federal motor vehicle safety standard to require for the first time ever electronic stability control systems on large commercial vehicles to help prevent rollover crashes.
Currently a number of truck tractors and large buses can be ordered with ESC technology, but the proposed rule would mandate this technology as standard equipment on these types of vehicles.
As proposed, the rule would take effect between two and four years after the standard is finalized, depending on the type of vehicle.
The administration said agency research shows the ESC technology could prevent up to 56 percent of rollover crashes — the deadliest among all crash types — each year as well as another 14 percent of loss-of-control crashes. In detail, NHTSA estimates that requiring ESC on the nation’s large trucks and large buses would prevent up to 2,329 crashes, eliminate an estimated 649 to 858 injuries and prevent between 49 and 60 fatalities a year.
With sensors that monitor vehicle movement and steering, ESC can help mitigate rollover incidents by using automatic computer-controlled braking, and also aid the driver in addressing severe understeer or oversteer conditions that can lead to loss of control.
“We’ve already seen how effective stability control can be at reducing rollovers in passenger vehicles — the ability for this type of technology to save lives is one reason it is required on cars and light-duty trucks beginning with model-year 2012,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland.
“Now, we’re expanding our efforts to require stability enhancing technology on the many large trucks, motorcoaches and other large buses on our roadways.”