The U.S. Department of Transportation is considering a mandate that would require all large trucks and busses be equipped with anti-rollover technology, which experts believe would prevent several hundred fatalities per year.
The technology uses the engine’s torque and computer-controlled braking of individual wheels on the ground and would prevent trailers from swinging.
We’ve already seen how effective stability control can be at reducing rollovers in passenger vehicles, NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said in a statement. Now, we’re expanding our efforts to require stability-enhancing technology on the many large trucks, motorcoaches and other large buses.
Today, the Missouri Trucking Association released a statement in support of the mandate.
Tom Crawford, president of the MTA, said, Pushing half of our folks are already putting these things on because they make sense. They’ve done the investments, they’ve done the cost-benefit of the initial, additional up-front costs versus the avoidance of accidents.
Crawford says the device would cost between $1,800 and $2,500 for large trucks and busses.
NHTSA estimates that 26 percent of trucks and 80 percent of buses in the 2012 model year will be equipped with ESC. About 150,000 trucks and 2,200 buses will be covered by the rule, leading to a total industry cost of about $113.6 million, NHTSA said.
Many newer model trucks are already equipped with the technology. Volvo, Mack and Peterbilt trucks some standard with the equipment.
A fairly significant number of rollovers would have been stopped with roll stability control, said Tim Kraus, president and chief operating officer of the Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association. Anything that can achieve that end is important.
The U.S. Department of Transportation is holding hearings on its proposal and an actual mandate could be two to four years down the road.