The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has said that it will require new commercial trucks to be equipped with electronic stability control systems starting in 2017. The agency said the mandate could prevent more than 1,700 crashes annually.
In an effort to further increase safety, the National Transportation Research Board has recommended that the federal government mandate forward-collision-avoidance systems on all new motor vehicles, including large trucks.
"This is all technology that should create a safer environment for professional drivers and the motoring public," said Chuck Pagesy, Director of Safety for Penske Truck Leasing.
Although both technologies are currently optional, a number of fleet owners are already spec'ing vehicles with electronic stability control systems and collision avoidance systems. Pagesy said many of Penske's customers already request both technologies.
"The safety advantages of it, especially during inclement weather, are big. In rain and snow, the stability is very helpful as it will automatically apply the brakes if the vehicle starts to slip," Pagesy said. “With snow and rain visibility is decreased, so the collision avoidance will also help you in inclement weather.”
The trucking industry has largely supported the requirement for electronic stability control systems. "Last month, NHTSA reported to Congress that truck rollover and passenger ejection were the greatest threats to truck driver safety," said Dave Osiecki, executive vice president of American Trucking Associations. "We can save lives by preventing rollovers with electronic stability control technology, and that’s a positive for our industry."
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