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June 18, 2015

New Mandate for Truck Safety Feature

Early this month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a final ruling that requires new trucks be built with electronic stability control systems.  The ruling comes after congress directed the NHTSA to consider electronic stability control requirements for large buses in 2012.

All trucks weighing over 26,000 pounds, model year 2017 or later, will require the electronic stability control system which helps prevent rollover and loss-of-control accidents.

Under the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, the technology is already required in passenger cars and trucks weighing less than 10,000 pounds since 2012. 

Through the use of a computer and sensors, electronic stability control technology can detect when the front or rear of a vehicle is not moving consistently with the position of the steering wheel.  If detected the system can automatically reduce throttles and apply the vehicle’s brakes.  Accidents where the driver’s steering and braking weren’t handled quickly enough can be prevented by this technology.

The NHTSA predicts the requirement would prevent between 1,400 and 1,800 crashes, and as many as 650 injuries and nearly 50 deaths each year.  With a reduction in crashes, there could be a decrease in property damage and truck cargo damage that NHTSA estimates could have roughly a $400 million annual benefit to the economy.

The addition of the technology to trucks could run around $585 per truck.  Although, according to NHTSA, about one-third of all trucks manufactured in 2018 would be built with the technology anyway.

The mandate for Electronic stability control is backed by the American Trucking Association.

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