Bendix ESP to empower Duratstar, WorkStar and TranStar vehicles against rollovers and risky driving
Published on 6 April 2010
International® DuraStar®, WorkStar®, and TranStar® vehicles can now be purchased with the Bendix® ESP® Full Stability System, designed to reduce the chance of rollovers and loss-of-control situations on dry, wet, snow and ice-covered roadways.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, between 1,500 and 2,000 rollover crashes could have been prevented using these systems. And considering that a $100,000 accident requires an additional $2 million in revenue to cover the costs, if the technology can prevent a single incident, chances are it will cover the cost for outfitting the entire fleet.
Many rollover situations occur when a truck negotiates a curve at too high speed. But according to a recent large truck crash causation study, an estimated 28.6 percent of commercial vehicle accidents are caused by a "loss of control factor." When the driver makes a maneuver, it can cause a reaction in the tractor-trailer chain, resulting in an over-steer situation that leads to a jackknife-or an under-steer to sends the vehicle off the road. For a straight truck, this reaction happens even faster the driver doesn't have the lag time advantage that can help a tractor trailer right itself. And vocational bodies like concrete mixers often experience rollovers and loss of control situations because of their top-heavy equipment.
The Bendix system is the first widely available ABS-based truck stability system that offers both roll and yaw stability to assist in under-steer, over-steer, and loss-of-control driving events. "The yaw sensor knows if the vehicle is twisting or tipping around its axis," explains Bob Neitzel, vocational marketing manager, Navistar. "If it feels input on the right, but you're turning left, it knows you're in a skid, When this happens, the system automatically applies the brakes on all-or select steer, drive wheel ends or trailer axles-to help the driver get the vehicle back under control. Ninety percent of the time, it can help avoid a crash."
"With the ESP Full Stability System, the sensors read both what the vehicle is doing, and what the driver intends the vehicle to do," adds Fred Andersky, director of marketing controls, at Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems. "When the driver's intent and what the vehicle is doing differ, the system recognizes this as a potentially dangerous situation."
The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) has mandated these full-stability systems for cars, light trucks and SUVs, with regulations taking effect in 2009 and full compliance required by 2012. And according to Andersky, similar mandates are being considered for Class 6, 7, and 8 air-braked combination vehicles in the near future.
"Stability cannot replace the need for safe driving practices," Andersky points out. "But especially with new drivers, it can help them through the learning curve. And with experienced drivers, it may help in those unexpected situations."
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