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NHTSA Proposes Stability Control Requirement for Buses and Trucks

NHTSA Proposes Stability Control Requirement for Buses and Trucks

By Jeff Youngs, May 17, 2012
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed a new federal motor-vehicle safety standard that would require buses, motorcoaches, and large commercial trucks to be equipped with standard stability control. In announcing the proposal, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said, "The Department and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have long recognized the potential impact of stability control technology in reducing deaths and serious injuries that result from rollover crashes."

According to a NHTSA research project that studied the matter, findings indicate that such a law could annually prevent up to 56% of rollover crashes involving these types of vehicles, and further reduce loss-of-control crashes by 14%. The NHTSA has also determined that by adding stability control to all buses and large trucks, 2,329 crashes could be prevented, avoiding hundreds of injuries and saving up to 60 lives per year.

NHTSA Administrator David Strickland underscored the importance of the new proposal: "We've already seen how effective stability control can be at reducing rollovers in passenger vehicles. The ability for this type of technology to save lives is one reason it is required on cars and light-duty trucks beginning with model year 2012."

Currently, stability control is available as an option on buses and large trucks. The new rule would require it to be standard, and if passed into law, would take effect in as little as two years after the new regulation is finalized.

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