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NHTSA Could Soon Mandate Stability Control Systems for All trucks

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into the advantages of mandating electronic stability control systems on all commercial trucks, 18 wheelers and tractor-trailers.

Researchers from the NHTSA told a hearing of the National Transportation Safety Board this week, that the agency has enough evidence to indicate that mandating electronic stability control systems on all 18-wheelers would prevent approximately 3,600 truck rollover accidents each year. Further, these systems could help prevent approximately 4,400 injuries and 106 fatalities.

The NTSB hearing was convened to look into the kind of safety systems in place to prevent truck rollover accidents involving tanker trucks. That concern comes from a truck rollover accident in Indianapolis last year, in which a propane truck flipped over on a busy interstate, and burst into flames. Several people were injured, and the resulting fireball shot hundreds of feet high. That accident could likely have been prevented if the truck had come equipped with a stability control system. The federal agency is looking at the prospect of having such systems on all tractor-trailers.

Electronic stability control systems are available on millions of cars in the US.  In fact, the NHTSA has required that all new passenger vehicles come with these systems that can dramatically reduce the risk of a rollover.  Electronic stability control systems are designed to detect when a motorist is in danger of losing control of his vehicle, and can apply preliminary brake pressure in order to help the motorist regain control of the vehicle.  These systems have been responsible for saving hundreds of motorist lives in passenger vehicle accidents, and New York truck accident lawyers believe they would be equally successful in preventing truck rollover accidents too.

However, as New York truck accident attorneys, we also know that any move to mandate stability control systems in all trucks will be met with opposition from the trucking industry.  The systems would add about $1,000 to the cost of a commercial truck, and the industry is likely to resist any increase in costs.  That’s why it’s more important than ever that the NHTSA acts quickly to mandate these potentially life-saving systems in all trucks.