The federal government is now requiring trucks and buses that weigh more than 26,000 pounds to have electronic stability control systems. This is a key component of working toward reducing fatal trucking accidents in Texas and across the country, as the U.S. Transportation Secretary estimates it can save nearly 50 lives every year.
When drivers are unable to brake or steer the way they should to prevent a crash, electronic stability control will kick in automatically. SafeCar.gov reports that these systems will allow the vehicle to continue in the direction the driver had intended. This can be helpful in the following situations:
- When a driver misjudges a curve
- When a driver swerves to avoid an accident
- When a driver is maneuvering through conditions such as snow and ice
SafeCar.gov notes that for the average driver, these stressful driving circumstances can create panic and cause difficulty doing any kind of extreme maneuvering. Electronic stability control will instantly brake individual wheels to maximize control. However, the system cannot increase a tire's traction on the road.
These systems have been in cars since 2012, USA Today reports. Now, larger vehicles will reap the benefits as well. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the new mandate will prevent as many as 56 percent of rollover crashes. Further, the new rule is expected to stop more than 1,700 total accidents every year.
While this new rule is good news for all drivers, it cannot prevent every incident. Trucking companies and their drivers must still hold themselves accountable for maximizing safety on the road.