Wire for safety
The cost of stability
Bendix rep Fred Andersky says list price on the Bendix rollover system is over $1,500 and on the full stability control nearly $2,300. The final price is up to the truck maker. For some new models, the system is standard equipment.
Meritor Wabco’s rollover system runs between $800 and $1,000, reps say, while their full stability system is $1,800 to $2,100. These figures refer to the systems installed on the tractor that also apply the trailer brakes when appropriate and stabilize the entire rig.
Insurance discount still elusive
A 2009 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that if all existing five-axle tractor-trailers were equipped with roll stability control, there would be 3,489 fewer crashes, 106 fewer fatalities and 4,384 fewer injuries per year, says Meritor Wabco’s Mark Melletat. Savings from rollovers alone would be $1.4 billion.
Boost that to full stability control and the numbers improve, says Fred Andersky of Bendix: a 34 percent reduction in crashes, 19 percent fewer fatalities and 35 percent fewer injuries.
So does equipping vehicles with such systems earn a discount on insurance rates? Not yet, Andersky says. However, “your risk profile is what insurance companies look at. Fleets not doing things like spec’ing or retrofitting such systems will end up with a higher premium,” he says. With the implementation late this year of Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010, “you need to be doing such things to improve your incident rate.”
Andersky warns that these systems won’t compensate for poor driving habits. “You can overdrive the system. It cannot replace a good driver.”