Earlier this week, a government agency proposed that all manufacturers should be required to equip large trucks and buses with electronic stability control systems. The goal of the proposal made by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is to prevent rollover bus and truck accidents.
Rollovers often occur due to skidding on slick roads, or swerving to avoid debris on the highway. Electronic stability control systems are designed to sense when a driver may lose control of their vehicle. The system then applies brakes to the wheels individually in order to correct for over-steering or under-steering, stabilize the vehicle, and prevent a rollover accident.
The systems are already mandated in newer cars, light trucks and SUVs. Research shows electronic stability control may prevent over 50 percent of rollover crashes annually.
Considering rollover crashes are the deadliest of all collisions, requiring these systems on buses and large trucks may prevent many fatalities. According to NHTSA estimates, the standard would save 49-60 lives each year, prevent 649-858 injuries, and help avoid up to 2,329 collisions.
The NHTSA Administrator explained “We’ve already seen how effective stability control can be at reducing rollovers in passenger vehicles.” He continued, “Now we’re expanding our efforts to require stability enhancing technology on the many large trucks, motor coaches, and other large buses on our roadways.”
With large trucks weighing as much as 80,000 pounds, and buses carrying 50 or more passengers, the prevention of rollover crashes involving these vehicles is especially important.
Source: U.S. News, Gov’t proposal aimed at bus, truck rollovers, Joan Lowy, 16 May 2012