Safety benefits of stability control systems for single unit trucks
Authors: John Woodrooffe, Daniel Blower, Paul E. Green
This paper contains an analysis of the potential safety benefits of electronic stability control systems (ESC) for single unit trucks. This research is based on the analysis of a set of crash datasets using engineering and statistical techniques to estimate the probable safety benefits of stability control technologies for single unit trucks without trailers. The crash population that could likely benefit from the technologies was identified by reviewing a random sample of fatal and nonfatal crash involvements, covering all crash types. Fatal crashes were sampled from a national census file of fatal crashes and nonfatal crashes from two states. Track testing of the technology were conducted in standard maneuvers and in maneuvers characteristic of loss of control crashes. Under the test conditions, ESC significantly decreased the truck’s sensitivity to oversteer. In the tests, a test truck equipped with ESC managed approximately twice as much additional hand wheel steer input without loss of control as when the ESC was switched off. The probable effectiveness of the technology was estimated through a review of detailed crash reconstructions of relevant crashes. The probable outcome estimates were based on the track test experience and expert panel assessment. The results were applied to the national crash population. Assuming ESC was fitted to all single units trucks, savings from LOC and rollovers prevented by ESC are estimated at $1.2 to 1.5 billion annually.