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New safety measures proposed for trucks and buses

Regulations just proposed by the federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are aimed at reducing the possibility of rollovers in truck and bus accidents. Truck accidents involving rollovers can be particularly deadly.

The regulations would impose a number of more stringent mandates on truck and bus vehicle manufacturers, including computer-directed braking mechanisms and electronic stability control devices. The braking system would be activated automatically when sensing that a driver is on the verge of losing control. Braking on individual wheels when this occurs can help prevent a rollover. It can also aid a driver in coping with slick or icy roads, which frequently results in skidding, or with maintaining control of a vehicle when swerving to attempt to avoid a collision.

The federal regulators cite studies which they contend prove that the new rules would deter as many as 2,329 crashes each year, thereby saving between 49 and 60 lives, and eliminating between 649 and 858 injuries. While the safety systems proposed have been available for a long time in SUVs and many models of cars, they are required, as of the 2012 models, in all light trucks, SUVs, and passenger cars. The proposed regulations would extend the requirement to heavier trucks and to buses.

The potential for death and multiple serious injuries is heightened by the fact that many trucks weigh 80,000 pounds and that many motorcoaches seat over 50 passengers. In the event of a vehicle rollover, the results can be tragic.

Source: Kentucky.com, “Gov’t proposal aimed at bus, truck rollovers,” Joan Lowy, May 16, 2012

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