Final Rule Adding Requirement of Electronic Stability Control Systems on Heavy Vehicles AdoptedDecember 4, 2015 | Category: Truck Accidents | Share
The NHTSA (National Traffic Safety Administration) published a final rule which would add a new Federal vehicle safety standard (No. 136) requiring electronic stability control systems (ESC) for heavy vehicles. Covered by this new requirement would be truck tractors and certain large buses with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of greater than 11,793 kilograms (26 thousand pounds). The ESC systems would use engine torque control and computer-controlled braking of the individual wheels to assist drivers in maintaining control of vehicles and maintaining their heading when they experience a loss of control. NHTSA says that the ESC system intervention will assist in maintaining control of vehicles and help prevent fatalities and injuries from vehicle rollovers or collisions.
Applicable implementation dates are:
- New typical three-axle truck tractors manufactured on or after August 1, 2017.
- All other truck tractors manufactured on or after August 1, 2019.
- Buses over 14,969 kilograms (33 thousand pounds) GVWR manufactured on or after 3 years of the date of the final rule.
- Buses greater than 11,793 kilograms (26 thousand pounds) but not more than 14,969 kilograms (33 thousand pounds) GVWR manufactured on or after 4 years of the date of the final rule.
In June, 2015, Anthony Foxx, U.S. Transportation Secretary and Mark Rosekind, NHTSA Administrator both praised the new rule. The rule was finalized following a 2011 NHTSA recommendation to use ESC systems in trucks and buses. The announcement was made, coincidentally, on the same day that three people were killed in Pennsylvania in an accident which involved a semi-trailer which collided with a bus carrying tourists from Italy. It was not known at the time whether ESC could have prevented this accident.
What are the causes of truck rollovers?
According to the Large Truck Causation Study by the Federal Motor Safety Administration, semi-truck rollovers are caused by:
- Failing to adjust speed to curves in the road, road surface, and intersection conditions.
- Condition of the brakes.
- Distracted driving or dozing off.
- Steering, including over-steering to the point of rollover, not steering enough to stay in lane, and over correcting to the point of having to counter-steer to remain on the road.
- Failure to take into account the weight, height or security of their load.
How can rollovers be prevented?
The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) provides a program “Cargo Tank Truck Rollover Prevention” with information on four approaches for reducing rollover accidents. These approaches are:
- Vehicle design and performance
- Load effects
- Highway factors
- Driver factors
Through its video program, FMCSA covers such topics as how to:
- Avoid sudden movements that may lead to rollovers.
- Control the load in turns and on straight roadways.
- Identify high risk areas on roads.
- Remain alert and attentive behind the wheel.
- Control speed and maintain proper “speed cushions.”
“If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck rollover accident, contact the team at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. to determine your rights,” said Fort Myers Truck Accident Attorney, Randall Spivey.
Fort Myers Truck Accident Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839,or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.