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Stability Control on Texas Semi-Trucks Could Prevent Thousands of Crashes

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) may soon require all large vehicles to be fitted with a stability control system. While many believe that this emerging technology will help prevent thousands of large truck crashes in Texas and across the nation, there are opponents to the federal proposal.

 

Proponents of a Stability Control Requirement

The biggest fans of the proposal are those who have seen the benefits first-hand. Chad England, President of C.R. England, believes the technology would be a boon to the trucking industry. His company has seen a dramatic drop in rollover crashes and credits new stability control systems.

 

"(They are) the biggest winner in safety technology as far as I am concerned," said England. After the company installed stability control systems on their trucks, the rollover rate for the fleet dropped by 50%.

 

Currently, most new tractor-trailers come equipped with the safety system. Retrofitting trucks and buses with a stability control system can be expensive, but proponents believe the cost is offset by the money saved due to fewer crashes. According to a recent study, if all 5-axle tractor-trailers had one of the two available systems, there would be up to 4,659 fewer crashes and 126 fewer deaths per year. Injuries caused by semi truck crashes could also decrease. The NHTA estimates that if the new proposal goes into effect, as many as 2,738 injuries could be prevented.

 

Opponents of a Stability Control Requirement

 

Many that oppose, or are skeptical, about the requirement worry about the specifics of new regulation. They wonder if the NHTSA will require a retrofit on all large trucks or if the new rule will only apply to new vehicles.

 

Another concern is the cost. While large trucking companies may be able to absorb the cost of new trucks or retrofits, smaller companies may be unable to conform, which would mean they have to ignore the rule, sink further into debt, or stop operating. The cost of the systems can range from $800-$2,300. This price does not include the labor associated with installing the new system.

 

How Stability Control Requirements Could Effect Texas Motorists

 

As a major trucking route, due to both our proximity to Mexico and our location in the U.S., Texas sees more than its fair share of 18-wheeler crashes. If the proposal passes it seems that it will have a dramatic effect on the number of truck crashes in Dallas, Denton and across the state. As experienced Texas semi truck crash attorneys, we know that the majority of serious crashes that involve a large truck are caused by a truck that flips or skids out of control. The staff and attorneys at the Hart Law Firm will be following this story closely and hope that we soon see a reduction in the number of semi truck crashes in Texas and nationwide.

 

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