WASHINGTON - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued stringent new braking standards July 24 that will save lives by improving large truck stopping distance by 30 percent. The new regulation will be phased in over four years beginning with 2012 models.

The new rule applies only to truck tractors and does not include single-unit trucks, trailers, and buses.

The new standard requires a tractor-trailer traveling at 60 miles per hour come to a complete stop in 250 feet instead of the original 355 feet in the old standard.

The NHTSA expects the new rule to speed up the introduction of the latest brake technology into America's freight-hauling fleets and help truck drivers avoid collisions with other vehicles. The NHTSA estimates the new braking requirement will save 227 lives annually, prevent 300 serious injuries, and reduce property damage costs by over $169 million annually.

The latest statistics from NHTSA show that large commercial vehicles continue to show a decrease in their involvement in fatal crashes. In 2008, 4,229 people were killed in crashes involving large trucks, down 12 percent from the 4,822 deaths recorded in 2007.

To read the final rule, click here.


Originally posted on Work Truck Online