Days ago, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that it has finalized a new rule mandating the inclusion of electronic stability control (ESC) systems on large buses and trucks (i.e., those exceeding 26,000 pounds). According to safety officials, each year this new rule (FMVSS No. 136) is in effect, it is expected to prevent up to:
- 1,759 traffic accidents
- 649 injuries
- 49 deaths.
What Are ESC Systems?
ESC systems are vehicle features that assist motorists in maintaining control of their vehicles, especially when making sharp, sudden steering maneuvers. ESC systems typically work via automatic braking to prevent vehicles from spinning/plowing out and, in turn, getting into rollover accidents.
According to the DOT, having ESC systems in larger buses and trucks will “prevent up to 56 percent of untripped, rollover crashes – that is, rollover crashes not caused by striking an obstacle or leaving the road.”
When the Requirement Will Take Effect
Despite being recently announced, this new rule requiring ESC systems on large buses and trucks will take effect at different times over the next few years for different types of vehicles. Specifically, the requirement will be effective for:
- Most heavy trucks in two (2) years
- Busses exceeding 33,000 pounds in three (3) years
- Buses between 26,000 and 33,000 pounds in four (4) years.
Affected trucks and buses will reportedly be compliance tested via a “J-turn test,” which simulates turning on a curved highway off-ramp.
Commenting on the finalization of this new rule, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx stated:
ESC is a remarkable safety success story, a technology innovation that is already saving lives in passenger cars and light trucks… Requiring ESC on heavy trucks and large buses will bring that safety innovation to the largest vehicles on our highways, increasing safety for drivers and passengers of these vehicles and for all road users.
Echoing these remarks, NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind stated:
Reducing crashes through ESC in these trucks and buses will save lives – nearly 50 each year. It will move goods and people more efficiently and reduce the toll crashes take on our economy through traffic delays and property damage… It’s a win for the safety and convenience of the traveling public and for our economy.
Denver Truck Accident Attorney at the Cederberg Law Firm
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus or truck accident – or any type of motor vehicle accident, contact a Denver truck accident lawyer at the Cederberg Law Firm to find out more about your best options for financial recovery.
For more than 35 years, our esteemed legal professionals have been successful at securing results and compensation for people who have been seriously injured in car accidents and other types of traffic accidents. Let us put our experience, skills and resources to work helping you.