Meritor WABCO is hosting a series of webinars beginning in May to help fleets understand the benefits of equipping new tractor-trailers with stability control systems, such as its SmartTrac Stability Control, before August when federal regulations mandating stability control begin to take effect.
By requiring electronic stability control systems on trucks and large buses, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates the new mandate will prevent up to 2329 crashes, 60 fatalities, and hundreds of injuries annually.
"Stability control has been an impressive success story in Europe and is acknowledged as a significant contributor to an 11 percent reduction in fatal crashes involving trucks since 2014," said Matthew Stevenson, President and General Manager, Meritor WABCO.
Rollovers are the fourth most-frequent cause of fatal accidents involving large trucks but account for a disproportionate number of fatalities and injuries, and are the most costly, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. On average, 22 heavy-truck rollovers occur in the United States every day.
According to NHTSA, more than 8000 fatal crashes and 84,000 injury crashes could have been prevented since 2003 if all medium- and heavy-duty fleets had a stability control type of system onboard. In total, 182,000 crashes could have been prevented, and with system effectiveness higher than predicted, even more crashes could have been prevented.
"A potential rollover situation develops in a second or two. The [SmartTrac] system responds in milliseconds to help avoid critical driving situations—usually before drivers realize what's happening," Stevenson said.
The federal regulation mandating stability control will be phased in during the next three years beginning this summer:
Three-axle truck tractors with GVWR greater than 26,000 lb, August 2017
Buses weighing greater than 33,000 lb, June 2018
Two-axle and all other truck tractors, August 2019
Buses weighing 26,000-33,000 lb and Class 7 hybrid truck tractors, August 2019
Register for the SmartTrac Stability Control webinar series on Meritor WABCO's Stability Control Webinar website.