Federal Government Proposes New Emergency Braking for Trucks

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Heavy Weight truck drivers deserve an extra level of safety protection.
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The Federal government’s regulation team is proposing a rule across the country that would require all trucks that operate on U.S. roads that are over 10,000 pounds to have an automatic emergency braking system, or AEB for short. They expand on this rule by further proposing that they must all come with an electronic stability control system, or ESC, that works in connection to the AEB.

The regulation suggestion comes from a joint proposal coming from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. They have a structured roll-out plan for the proposal in which new Class 7 and Class 8 trucks (weighing in at 26,000 pounds or more) would have three years to fully adjust to the new regulation and any trucks ranking in Class 3-6 (from 10,000-26,000 pounds) would have four years to meet the requirement. The joint NHTSA and FMCSA regulation follows an eight-year lull following a time when trucking safety petitioners fought for a similar requirement. 

Tech that will help with “collision avoidance” has been on the NHTSA’s safety regulations that are most wanted list.

The biggest argument in support of implementing AEB technology is to help when truckers get tired or distracted. Even if it is a rare occurrence, it could be incredibly beneficial. The Executive Director of Truck Safety Coalition, Zach Cahalan says this would be a “slam dunk for roadway safety.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is pushing to have tech developed that will allow the automatic emergency braking system to work at a speed anywhere from 6 miles per hour to 50 miles per hour.

The NHTSA and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have been researching AEB for more than ten years in order to find the perfect combination of beneficial for trucker’s safety and for efficiency. According to their research, they believe that in just one year they would be able to prevent roughly 19,118 crashes, save 155 lives, and stop 8,814 injuries from occurring. Additionally, AEB systems would cut down crashes in which just the truck or property is damaged by about 24,828.

Some argue that the cost to include these systems is too great, but FMCSA argues that the amount is significantly lower in the long run compared to the cost of recovery post-accidents.

If they do end up getting the proposal to go into effect, it will be posted to the Federal Register which is open for public access. It will be up for 60 days and the public will be able to propose suggestions to change the proposal before it goes into effect as the final rule.

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