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Stability Control Systems to Be Required on Tractor Trailer Trucks

Garcia & Artigliere

In the latest attempt to keep roads safe for motorists, the National Highway Transportation and Safety Agency is currently awaiting approval on a proposed bill to require stability control systems on tractors.

Responsible for 304 deaths and 2,738 injuries a year, rollover and loss-of-control crashes caused by unstable tractor-trailer trucks are extremely dangerous. They also have serious ramifications for the traffic flow and the environment around accident sites.

The bill, if passed, will require that tractor-trailer trucks utilize a stability control system that would substantially increase the safety of tractor trailers on the road today.

The addition of stability control systems is estimated to be effective in up to 56% of single vehicle roll-over accidents. It is estimated that it would save 66 lives per year and prevent another 1,000 serious personal injuries resulting from tractor-trailer rollovers and loss of control truck accidents. Stability control systems also would make 14% of crashes caused by skidding less likely to be fatal.

According to the NHTSA, the required stability control systems would cost the trucking industry up to $107 million a year. But these systems would save more than $372 million in preventing property damage and travel delays by other motorists.

This added cost has made The trucking industry is generally wary of the new technology citing the added cost to trucking companies. The American Trucking Association has gone on record saying it sees little benefit in requiring tractor trailers to be required to install this safety precaution.

Many in the trucking industry believe that forcing trucking insurance companies to pay hundreds of millions of dollars after an accident is wiser than forking over a small amount of money to install safety equipment that would make the road safer for everyone.

Unfortunately, their attitude is another example of trucking companies putting profits over people, including their own truck drivers.

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