The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has proposed a rule requiring large trucks and buses to have electronic stability control systems.

Put simply, the systems are able to automatically apply the braking power to individual wheels, thereby preventing crashes and rollovers.  The Administration already requires similar systems on passenger vehicles and it is estimated that these systems reduce crashes where the driver loses control of his or her vehicle by at least 40%.

Will these systems work as effectively on large trucks and buses?  Research shows that the answer is a resounding “Yes.”  A University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute study estimates that at least 4,600 truck crashes could be prevented annually, if electronic stability systems were required.  The Institute found that this translates to at least 126 lives saved per year!

The Administration hopes that the proposed rule will become final within the next two to four years.  Given that the technology is readily available, inexpensive and potentially life-saving, this author hopes that the proposal will become a reality much sooner.