Fuel Smarts

NHTSA to Hold Hearing on Electronic Stability Control Proposal

July 18, 2012

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will host a public hearing in Washington, D.C., next week to get reaction to its proposed mandate for electronic stability control systems on heavy-duty trucks and buses.
Mack demonstrates how a mixer can start to tip over without stability control.
Mack demonstrates how a mixer can start to tip over without stability control.


The hearing will be held July 24 at the Department of Transportation, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Anyone wishing to testify should email Christopher Morris (Christopher.morris@dot.gov) of the NHTSA Office of Rulemaking.

The systems, which already are used by some carriers, detect the risk of rollover or instability and slow the truck by cutting back the throttle and applying the brakes automatically.

The proposed rule, aimed at vehicles rated 26,000 pounds or more, would be phased in over two to four years after it goes through public comment and becomes final, a process that probably will take a year or more.

The agency says ESC systems could prevent up to 56% of rollover crashes each year and another 14% of loss-of-control crashes. That translates to about 2,329 crashes, between 649 and 858 injuries, and between 49 and 60 fatalities a year.

Many carriers already have adopted stability control systems. The agency estimates that 26% of tractors built in the 2012 model year will be equipped with ESC. More than 16% are being built with a related type of system, roll stability control.

The agency is looking for comments on these issues:

- The size of the safety problem related to HD tractors and buses
- How ESC works to prevent rollover and loss of control
- The research and testing that underpin the proposal and the testing maneuvers used to evaluate performance
- The details of the proposal, including ESC equipment and performance criteria, compliance testing and the implementation schedule

Related Stories:

Major Trucking Players React Positively to NHTSA's Stability Control Proposal

Building Safer Trucks

The Feds' Safety Wish List

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