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Proposed rule would mandate stability system

| May 16, 2012

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Wednesday, May 16, a  proposed federal motor vehicle safety standard to require electronic stability control systems on large commercial trucks, motorcoaches, and other large buses for the first time ever.

Agency research shows the technology could prevent up to 56 percent of rollover crashes each year—the deadliest among all crash types—and another 14 percent of loss-of-control crashes.

“The Department and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have long recognized the potential impact of stability control technology in reducing deaths and serious injuries that result from rollover crashes,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Today’s proposal is a major step forward to improving the safety of large commercial trucks, motorcoaches, and other large buses.”

An extensive NHTSA research program to determine how available stability control technologies affect crashes involving commercial vehicles found ESC systems to be the most effective tool for reducing the propensity for heavy vehicles to rollover or lose control.

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. NHTSA estimates that a standard 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.

While many truck-tractors and large buses can currently be ordered with this technology, the proposed standard would require ESC systems 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 agency’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is being published in the Federal Register and members of the public will have the opportunity to comment on the proposal for 90 days. NHTSA will also hold a public hearing on the proposed safety standard to solicit further public comment—the date and location of that hearing will be published in the coming weeks.

  • Marty Marsh

    With all of the experienced drivers they are chasing out of the industry,I guess they have to do something.At this rate a new truck is going to cost a half a million bucks in ten years.Yeah,they have all of the answers.And no I didn’t bother to read the second page,I was to busy puking.

  • Mel kilburn

    Well Marty I happen to agree with what you said also. As a driver you need experience and the right kind of training from the beginning. Learning road conditions is a benefit to the driver and company. I have seen a lot of drivers in a hurry driving too fast because they don’t want to be on the road past there 10 hrs! Even with those safety control they want to install will delay accidents but if your driving like an idiot its still gonna happen at some point. The people that drive those big motor coaches should have special training to drive em. I was trained to stay away from vans, buses, motor coaches, travel trailers and drunk drivers.

  • Alex

    Good idea, I want to drive truck with ESC, but now lots of company prefer to economy. no ESC, no auto transmission, just to make it cheap.

    and also, I think drivers with manual transmission must be limited to 10 hours driving. cause it takes more fatigue

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  • Marty Marsh

    Thanks Mel,but it’s nothing but the truth.Untill they can get drivers out of trucks the only safe way to do it is with experienced drivers,and experienced drivers teaching the rookies.You have rookies teaching rookies,somethin has to give.

  • Marty Marsh

    Alex,how does a manual transmission cause more fatigue?After you have been a truck driver for a little while shifting comes as natural as breathing,you don’t even think about it anymore so how would that make you tired?

  • Matthias

    Hm, the most modern country of the world is now thinking about saftey?

    (sorry dont know the US words) ESP ABS and Retarder is law in Europe. Next generation ist cruise control with distance control (automatic braking if you are below a mark of 150 ft)GPS cruise control.

  • Doug Pickard

    I think Marty and Mel hit the nail on the head. All the technology in the world won’t make up for education. In order to be able to drive trucks in todays world you need to know what your doing. It has become very obvious to me that many of the new drivers have no clue. Most of the new drivers today are not trained nearly as well as they should be, nor are they prepared for the task. Big business is too interested in cheap inexpensive drivers that will do as they say when they say. There needs to be a set national standard for training to drive a commercial vehicle of any size, and it should not be watered down. Train them to be professional and teach them what they need to know about the the real world of trucking. The ATA is NOT in my opinion, an asset to the the trucking industry. It has done more to take away drivers rights and privileges than any other industry safety group. Just my opinion, I welcome yours…..

  • Michael biro

    The company I work for as a maintince supervisor . Bought thousands of those pieces of unreliable pieces of equipment per a recall we are to disable them till a permanent fix is figuered out . For safety reasons drivers don’t like them I test drove them I don’t see any benefit . I actually am afraid to operate them inadverse weather conditions, mainly snow covered roads . I found them dangerous , unpredictable,and unstable.

  • XXXoutlaw Trucker

    Nothing beats experience! Someone is just trying to make money off the trucking industry. Many of the “experts” trying to tell truckers what they need have never been a company driver. The training and testing for drivers should be rigorous. Safety is paramount but the constant bickering and changes in the transportation industry is a gigantic SCAM. Before anyone is allowed to have a say in trucking regulations they should have a minimum of one years road experience. There is a huge difference between driving a reefer, a van, a flatbed. an oversize load, a bobtail, hauling logs, city driving, winter driving, etc…You could spend 30 years driving and never become an expert. There would not be a problem with the rules if there were no variables but conditions change constantly and the driver must be mature enough to make the RIGHT decisions at the right time. One of my favorite memories while driving was being told by a DOT officer “That Logbook Keeps You Alive”. Funniest man I ever met.

  • peddlepusher

    man thats funny dot officer keep you alive LOLMFAO. only bexause amount of time to fill it out not being on the road

  • Superior Trucking

    Independents account for almost 70% of all trucks. In the ’70s we shut down over speed restrictions, I think its time to prove a point that the government is getting in the way again. Lets pick one day, let the media know, and shut down all trucks.

  • Doug Pickard

    As for the anti roll over , nice idea, but agaian, not well tested. we have had these devices added to our hazmat tankers with spring suspentions. Not the most reliable things around. the system is somehow tied into the ABS system and if the paramaters aren’t set properly the ABS light comes on. And when the system fails, the brakes aren’t there , kind of a scary feeling when your loaded with hazmat…….. It reminds me of the days of the 7-21 brake systems of the late 70’s, they finally discontinued them. But not until there were a number of drivers in hot water for brake failure.

  • Marty Marsh

    And here I thought I was the only one that read OverDrive.

  • chuck hendrickson

    i just jumpped in a 2012 mack and it has the criuse control with distance control…i hate it….i use to run with the criuse on 80% of the time now i may have it on 20% of the time if im driving at night with no traffic…been driving truck for 12 years and about sick of all the rules…i told myself a few years ago when when this stopped being fun was the day i gave up driving truck…well that day is just about here….everyone be safe out here

  • Marty Marsh

    We need to talk,i think your percents is way off. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.