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New Required Electronic Stability Control for Trucks Could Save Lives

 Federal regulators have recently put in place a required ‘electronic stability control’ (ESC) law for all trucks and buses exceeding 26,000 pounds. It will apply to all new trucks in August 2017 and new buses in 2018.  Electronic stability control (ESC) uses a computer and sensors to detect when the front or rear of a vehicle is moving inconsistently with the position of the steering wheel. The system can use a brake for a single wheel to nudge the vehicle back on course.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) reports that in a single recent year, 3,802 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes. NHTSA believes ESC will be a safety success story and that it has the potential to save hundreds of lives per year.

The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended that an ESC be installed on trucks and buses since 2011, and many personal passenger vehicles have been equipped with ESC since 2012. NHTSA estimates that stability control on cars, small trucks and sport utility vehicles has saved over 1,300 lives since its introduction. NHTSA projects that roughly 1,700 crashes, 650 injuries and 50 fatalities will be prevented per year by the new requirements for large trucks and buses.

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