The White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved a rule that will require all newly manufactured commercial trucks to be equipped with electronic stability control (ESC) systems. The rule was first proposed in 2012 and is expected to be published in the next few weeks. Once published in the Federal Register, it will two years until it takes effect.
What Are Electronic Stability Control Systems?
ESC systems are computerized systems installed in a vehicle. They detect any loss of traction (ex: skidding) and automatically apply the brakes to the appropriate wheels to help the driver steer the car where intended. They were first introduced in the 1980’s and became standard in passenger vehicles during the 1990’s. In 2007, they were mandated on all passenger vehicles.
How Effective Are Electronic Stability Control Systems?
According to a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), from 2008-2010, ESC systems saved over 2,200 lives. It is also estimated that ESC systems could prevent over 50% of rollover accidents and almost 15% of loss-of-control accidents. Rollover and loss-of-control truck accidents cause over 300 deaths and 2,700 injuries every year.