Bendix lobbying for action on safety technology

ELYRIA, Ohio — Bendix is urging the trucking industry and politicians to get actively involved in improving highway safety.

The truck component and systems supplier has outlined in a research paper four key areas that it has deemed vital to improving vehicle and road safety.

— Exploration of incentives and regulation: The company is campaigning for incentives, comprehensive testing, and mandates that lead to the adoption of the advanced heavy-duty vehicle technologies that help prevent accidents, such as electronic stability control, anti-collision warning ,and lane departure warning systems — all technologies that Bendix manufacturers.

A Bendix review of the Large Truck Crash Causation Study found that full-stability systems like ESP, which combine both roll and directional (yaw) stability control, can prevent more accidents.

The company also supports a 30-percent reduction in the stopping-distance requirement for truck tractors — a propsal currently being reviewed by the NHTSA in the U.S.

— Engagement of the insurance industry: Industry estimates show that large-truck accidents involving injury can cost an average of more than $200,000 per event, while those involving fatalities result in an average of more than $3 million, says Bendix. By using educational programs, premium discounts, and even incentives, insurance companies can encourage their policyholders to incorporate advanced safety and accident mitigation technologies in their commercial vehicles.

— Support of driver education, technician training, and problem identification: More frequent and continuous education and awareness programming can help identify and correct brake issues throughout the year, helping to prevent brake-related accidents, says the company. Brake Safety Awareness Week, an annual initiative sponsored by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance is one such outlet.

Through online instruction, advanced diagnostics, easy-to-use tools, and the availability of comprehensive air and foundation brake training clinics and schools, Bendix provides commercial fleets, technicians, and drivers with the tools they need to ensure safe operation through assessment, maintenance, and repair.

— Development of advanced safety technologies: Investing in the development of technologies such as antilock braking systems and electronic stability control ensures they become the basis of future technologies, says the company.

Bendix notes that government studies report that more than 80,000 fatal and injury-related crashes involving large trucks occurred in the U.S. in 2005.

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