ARLINGTON, Va. — Contrary to findings in several previous studies, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) says a new study it conducted indicates that for some fleets, Rollover Stability Control (RSC) technology may be more effective, and cost-effective, at reducing rollover, jackknife and tow/stuck crashes than Electronic Stability Control (ESC) technology.
ATRI, the research arm of the American Trucking Associations, released the study Friday, noting that it was the industry’s first major comparative analysis of Roll Stability Systems (RSS) based on carrier operational data.
ATRI’s study analyzed crash rates, crash costs and technology costs for RSC and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) systems compared to vehicles without any RSS technology.
The study comes only weeks after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced a proposed new federal motor vehicle safety standard that would mandate ESC on all new truck tractors with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,000 pounds and higher.
ATRI’s research, based on data from over 135,000 heavy trucks, indicated that installation of RSC technology may result in fewer rollover and jackknife crashes compared to trucks equipped with ESC.
Furthermore, the study found that RSC installation costs were significantly lower than ESC installation costs.
ATRI said in the sample data, trucks equipped with RSC had lower average crash rates than trucks equipped with ESC (31.38 rollover, jackknife and tow/stuck crashes per 100 million miles versus 40.26 crashes per 100 million miles, respectively).
Furthermore, the research found that RSC-equipped trucks incurred lower average crash costs than ESC-equipped trucks ($4.31 in rollover, jackknife and tow/stuck crash costs per 1,000 miles versus $5.27 per 1,000 miles, respectively).
The research also found that ESC technology is 152.8 percent more expensive, on average, than RSC technology ($1,180.88 per unit versus $467.18 per unit, respectively). “This study definitively finds that, for the industry data sample used in this analysis, RSC technology is more effective than ESC technology at preventing rollover, jackknife, and tow/stuck crashes, thus providing greater benefit to society and carriers with markedly lower installation costs,” the researchers said.
The report said that if the calculations derived from the data sample are consistent with the industry as a whole, this research would indicate that industry-wide installation of RSC would result in fewer rollover, jackknife and tow/stuck crashes compared to an industry-wide installation of ESC.
Furthermore, the report said, an industry-wide installation of RSC would subject the trucking industry to lower rollover and jackknife crash costs.
“Finally, a full deployment of RSC would cost far less than a full deployment of ESC,” researchers concluded. ‘Overall, RSC would provide greater benefit to society and industry through fewer crashes and lower crash costs compared to ESC, while doing so at a considerable implementation discount since ESC was found to be 152.8 percent more expensive based on the sample data analyzed in this study. To fully understand the impact of RSS systems on the trucking industry, further research into the efficacy of RSS technology using operational truck data is recommended.”
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