NHTSA Mandates Stability Control for Heavy Trucks, Buses

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is forcing heavy trucks and large buses to use electronic stability control (ESC). 

NHTSA says that the new mandatory ESC will help to save up to 49 lives per year by preventing up to 1,759 crashes. ESC works by automatically trying to maintain directional control of the vehicle in situations where it senses that the driver’s steering and braking will not be enough to do so.

“ESC is a remarkable safety success story, a technology innovation that is already saving lives in passenger cars and light trucks,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Requiring ESC on heavy trucks and large buses will bring that safety innovation to the largest vehicles on our highways, increasing safety for drivers and passengers of these vehicles and for all road users.”

The new rules apply to heavy trucks and large buses that register higher than 26,000 pounds in gross weight. The ruling will take effect for most heavy trucks in two years while vehicles between 26,000 and 33,000 pounds will have four years to comply. Buses larger that 33,000 pounds will be forced to comply within three years.