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Bendix says ESC mandate will bring improved highway safety

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC applauded the action taken by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to improve highway safety. NHTSA released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would require full-stability technology, known as Electronic Stability Control (ESC), on truck tractors and certain buses with a gross vehicle weight rating of greater than 11,793 kilograms (26,000 pounds).

“The government’s notice makes a clear statement, underscoring the advantages of full-stability technology, as opposed to roll-only technology,” says Fred Andersky, Bendix director of government and industry affairs. “While our preference is always to let the overall market drive choice, we support NHTSA’s selection of full-stability technology to mandate. We believe full-stability technology on tractor-trailers, highway motorcoaches and other large buses is critical to the safety of today’s highways. Bendix produces both roll-only and full-stability systems, but in our view, full stability is the superior technology, and the cost it adds is minimal. Just as important, full-stability technology is the foundation for the Bendix active safety and driver assistance systems available now, as well as advanced concepts in development.” The proposed ruling comes at a time when increasing numbers of fleets are investing in full-stability technology because of the system’s ability to help reduce the number of heavy truck accidents, improve safety records, and, ultimately, save money. Sales of the Bendix ESP Electronic Stability Program full-stability system, introduced in early 2005, have been escalating year over year, with nearly 57,000 systems delivered in 2011 and more than 175,000 units sold to date. However, even with this sustained growth, Bendix estimates that 70% to 75% of the Class 6, 7, and 8 air-braked truck build each year is delivered without stability technology.

Bendix ESP is the foundation for Bendix advanced active safety technologies, such as Bendix Wingman Advanced, a Collision Mitigation Technology that combines both adaptive cruise control and collision mitigation to help drivers mitigate or reduce the intensity of potential rear-end collision situations. With this integrated approach, fleets are getting the most active safety performance available in the market today.

Bendix stresses that technologies such as Bendix ESP do not replace the need for alert, safe drivers practicing safe driving habits, as well as continuous, comprehensive driver training.

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