Bendix supports NHTSA findings on value of ESC

Bendix Commercial Vehicle System LLC supports the conclusions of a study released by the federal government showing that Electronic Stability Control (ESC), also known as Electronic Stability Program (ESP), on heavy trucks (above 10,000 lbs) can both substantially reduce the number of annual heavy-truck crashes and prevent injuries and deaths.

Findings conclude that with ESC installed on the vehicle, the number of annual heavy-truck crashes would decrease by 4,659, preventing 5,909 injuries and 126 deaths. In addition, if ESC were on all heavy trucks today, according to the study, it would also save $1.738 billion in annual societal costs.

The study, conducted for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) analyzed not only the efficacy of ESC, but also compared it to a less robust, roll-only system known as Roll Stability Control (RSC). The analysis shows ESC (also referred to as full-stability control) as superior to the RSC system. Among the crashes analyzed, the differences between how effective ESC is compared with RSC are significant. ESC would have resulted in:

  • 34% fewer crashes than RSC.
  • 19% fewer fatalities than RSC.
  • 35% fewer injuries than RSC.
  • 19% greater economic savings than RSC.
According to the report: “Tractor-semitrailer crashes tend to be more complex events. Therefore, it is anticipated that technologies that address vehicle yaw control (such as ESC) would have additional benefits across a broad range of crash types. The study team was not able to provide an estimate for these additional benefits, so true amount of benefits to be realized is likely higher.” The full study— Safety Benefits of Stability Control Systems For Tractor-Semitrailers—is now available on NHTSA’s Web site.

In a different but related NHTSA study just released, ESC was also found to be effective in crashes involving “single-unit” medium and heavy trucks such as school buses and other kinds of buses and non-tractor/trailer trucks or “straight trucks.” Of the medium and heavy-duty straight truck crashes where a stability system could help, ESC may have helped mitigate 91% of these crashes, while RSC would have only helped in the other 9%. On buses, the figure is even higher for ESC and lower for RSC.

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