A truck driver’s fatality risk is increased by 30 times during a rollover, making it the number one cause of truck accident fatalities with nearly 700 truck driver’s losing their lives each year, an article in Bloomberg.com notes.
But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is determined to change that.
By mandating the installation of crash-prevention technology, among these stability control systems, on all new tractor trailers, the agency predicts that “5,510 rollover crashes and 4,803 loss-of-control crashes” would be prevented (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-13/bendix-meritor-look-for-boost-from-nhtsa-s-truck-rollover-rule.html).
According to the article, between 20-25% of new trucks are available for purchase with stability control systems, such as the ones recently purchased by Road Scholar Transport, with Bendix and WABCO being the two main contenders manufacturing this technology.
The problem with this is that even though 20-25% are sold with this technology, trucking companies still have the option of whether or not they want to purchase it and many do not want the additional expense. But NHTSA is seeking to change that by making nearly 100% of all new trucks sold with these stability systems.
As Tim Kraus, President of Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association explains, although there is a higher cost associated with purchasing these trucks, trucking companies will save money in the end. As he notes, a single accident involving a fatality results in millions of dollars but these stability control systems are expected to save over a hundred of the 700 fatalities per year.
Kraus continued to explain that it often takes regulation to put technology in motion. For Road Scholar Transport, this is not the case.
Road Scholar has been continuously building on newer, more advanced technology to increase the safety of its fleet, drivers, your cargo, and everyone on the road. That’s why Road Scholar not only has ESP (Electronic Stability Program) on its trucks but the Bendix Wingman ACB (Active Cruise with Braking) system as well.
The ACB system causes Road Scholar’s trucks to maintain a set distance of 8/10ths of a mile marker behind a forward vehicle by automatically reducing the throttle, using the engine retarder, or applying the brakes (delivering 1/3 the vehicle’s power but the driver can apply the rest if needed) in order to maintain a set distance from the vehicle ahead, that is when cruise control is on.
When cruise control is off, the ACB delivers a beeping alert, which gets faster and louder when closing in on a vehicle, as well as a visual warning on the dashboard showing our drivers how far a vehicle is from their truck, thus preventing an accident from occurring.
The NHTSA estimates a finished proposal within the next few months.
Do you feel that all trucks, regardless of cost, should be equipped with stability control systems?
Tags: Active Cruise with Braking, Bendix, Electronic Stability Program, ESP, Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, news, NHTSA, road scholar transport, stability control system, tractor-trailer, truck driver, truck rollover, trucking industry, WABCO, Wingman ACB