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Stability technology may be required on trucks and buses

On behalf of Law Office of Matthew Vance, P.C. posted in Vehicle Rollovers on Friday, May 25, 2012

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently made a proposal that looks to decrease the number of rollover accidents that occur on the nation's highways. If the safety regulation is passed, it may make New Mexico roads safer.

Officials with NHTSA proposed a new requirement of manufacturers that would see safety systems installed on buses and large trucks, which would assist in the prevention of vehicle rollovers by adding computer-controlled braking to the vehicles. Safety systems such as these are already required for cars and SUVs.

Safety advocates have shown support for the proposal, citing the potential costs and consequences of a rollover accident involving vehicles that carry massive weight and large numbers of passengers.

Data has shown rollover crashes to be the most deadly type of accident. The government claims research shows that the technology could eliminate 56 percent of annual rollover accidents and 14 percent of loss-of-control crashes.

The safety technology, known as electronic stability control, works like this: Say a driver is in a situation where he or she might lose control of a vehicle. The system applies brakes to individual wheels so that the vehicle can remain stabilized, thus increasing the potential to avoid a rollover. In addition, the system helps prevent skidding on wet or icy roads and can help correct over- or under-steering when avoiding unexpected objects in the road.

Estimates from NHTSA indicate that the implementation of such a system on large buses and trucks could prevent as many as 2,329 crashes per year. This would eliminate an estimated 649 to 858 injuries and save between 49 and 60 lives on an annual basis. This of course does not mean that truck and bus accidents won't happen, and people who are injured by a driver or manufacturer's negligence will have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.

Source: KTVN, "Gov't proposal aimed at bus, truck rollovers," Joan Lowy, May 16, 2012