Among the study’s key findings:
• The majority of drivers perceived the integrated crash warning system would increase driver safety, and it made them more aware of the traffic environment around their vehicle;
• Seven drivers reported the integrated system prevented them from having a crash;
• Fifteen of the 18 participating drivers said they prefer a truck equipped with the integrated safety system and would recommend their employers purchase such a system;
• In terms of satisfaction, drivers rated warnings for lane departures the highest, and second-highest in terms of perceived usefulness.
• The integrated crash warning system had a significant effect helping drivers maintain lane positions closer to the center; and
• Overall, drivers responded more quickly to potential rear-end crash scenarios with the system.
Based on its experience with the study, Con-way Freight chose to invest in the new technologies for all new replacement units added to the fleet this year – more than 1,300 Freightliner Cascadia Class 8 tractors, said Bob Petrancosta, vice president of safety.
“The insight we gained from the IVBSS study confirmed the feedback we got from our drivers – these technologies are ready for prime time and are effective at helping drivers,” Petrancosta said.
— Staff reports
Industry lobbies for tax breaks
The Obama administration will further study tax credits for new truck buyers following a Sept. 2 meeting with trucking representatives who outlined their plan to boost sales.
Ron Bloom, senior adviser to the U.S. Treasury department and Obama’s senior counselor for manufacturing policy, led the meeting with truck and engine makers, drivers, lease and rental companies, equipment manufacturers and fleet managers. A representative of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association also attended.
New federal emission mandates have increased new truck costs, and combined with the recession, dropped sales more than 60 percent from 2006, coalition members told Bloom. The coalition proposed a short-term, 10 percent tax credit for buyers of Class 8 trucks with 2010 engines and a “green voucher” incentive for Class 6 and 7 trucks with 2010 engines.
“Due to the 2010 nitrogen-oxide requirements adding almost 10 percent to the cost of a new truck on top of the strained economy, further stimulus is needed to boost the new truck market,” said Kyle Treadway, American Truck Dealers chairman. “This would help strengthen our manufacturing base, create jobs and further reduce greenhouse gases.”