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NHTSA Mandates Electronic Stability Control for Semi Trucks, Buses

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 6/4/2015 Alex Nishimoto

Since 2012, all passenger vehicles in the U.S. have been required by law to come equipped with electronic stability control (ESC) systems. Now, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has finalized its rule that will require all heavy trucks and buses be equipped with the technology.

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ESC has been recommended on heavy trucks and large buses by the National Transportation Safety Board since 2011, but the move to mandate the technology is said to "[increase] safety for drivers and passengers of theses vehicle and for all road users," according to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

The final rule will mandate that all heavy-duty vehicles exceeding 26,000 pounds in gross weight come with ESC systems. NHTSA will test vehicles to make sure they comply with the rule by administering a J-turn test, which it says replicates a curved highway off-ramp. The rule will go into effect for most trucks within two years of publication, but buses larger than 33,000 pounds will have three years to comply.

NHTSA estimates that the requirement will save up to 49 lives and prevent as many as 1,759 crashes annually. In addition, the safety agency estimates the rule will provide $300 million in net economic benefits per year from fewer shipping delays and less property damage resulting from heavy-duty vehicle crashes.

Source: NHTSA

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