The U.S. Department of Transportation through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed a new federal safety standard to require electronic stability control systems to be installed on large commercial trucks, motor coaches, and large buses in an effort to prevent deadly rollover crashes. Research conducted by the agency shows the technology could prevent up to 56 percent of the rollover crashes every year and 14 percent of other loss-of-control type accidents.
The NHTSA’s research found electronic stability controls (ESC) to be the most effective deterrent to rollovers and loss of control for heavy vehicles. ESC systems lessen the likelihood of rollovers by monitoring vehicle movement and using automatic computer-controlled braking, which can assist the driver who is over-steering or under-steering according to the situation. NHTSA estimates that an ESC on big vehicles could prevent 2,329 crashes, more than 650 injuries and 50 fatalities each year.
If adopted, the rule would take effect in two to four years.