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December 03, 2012

Electronic Braking Systems Saving Lives

By Brittany Walters-Bearden, TMCnet Contributor

After a three-year study was conducted on the use of computer-controlled braking systems in cars and small trucks, the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has determined that this new state-of-the-art braking system is effective in saving lives. The new systems have been required on all passenger cars and light-duty trucks since a 2007 federal safety regulation was passed requiring the new type of brake system.

There have been more than 600 lives saved each year, from 2008 to 2010, as a result of the new system. With the new results, the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is suggesting that the electronic stability control systems be used on large commercial trucks and large buses. Since all light duty vehicles have been required to have the electronic stability control system since September 1, 2011, it would seem to be the next logical step to enforce the same system in larger vehicles.

Image via Shutterstock

United States Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood said of the systems, “As more vehicles on the road are equipped with ESC (News - Alert) in the coming years, we know the technology will save even more lives. Applying the technology to the heavy-duty fleet could prevent up to 56 percent of rollover crashes each year and 14 percent of loss-of-control crashes in those vehicles.”

The electronic stability control systems use computer-controlled braking of each individual wheel in order to help drivers keep control of a vehicle that is beginning to swerve or lose stability. When the electronic stability control detects that the vehicle is out of control, it automatically applies the brakes to help steer the vehicle where the driver should be going.  Since the brakes are applied individually, the brakes are applied to an outside wheel to assist in over-steering or to an inside wheel to prevent under-steering. Some electronic braking systems have the advanced technology to slow the vehicle down until it has control restored.

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Edited by Brooke Neuman
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