The same electronic stability control that for years has been mandatory in cars, sport utility vehicles, and light trucks might soon become a necessity in all large trucks and buses.
That’s because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed today that all new trucks and buses, plus motor coaches, should be required to come equipped with computer controlled braking that can be an important deterrent to rollover accidents. In offering up the proposal, the NHTSA said that such a measure would save 49 to 60 lives, prevent up to 858 injuries, and cut down on crash rates to the tune of about 2,329 per year.
The system they’re hoping to make mandatory works by automatically taking over braking duties when it senses that the driver may have lost control. By applying different amounts of pressure to the brakes on each wheel, the control system can keep the vehicle from tipping and rolling over. Plus, the danger of sliding on slick roads can be mitigated, as can the risk that presents itself when a vehicle has to swerve to avoid a sudden danger.
In addition to the statistics cited above, research suggests that widespread use of the system could cut rollover crashes by more than half every year. And crashes that occur when the vehicle operator loses control would drop by an estimated 14%.