NHTSA reduces truck stopping distances 30 percent

| 7/24/2009

The government issued a new braking standard for heavy trucks Friday, July 24, which is designed to improve stopping distance by 30 percent.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that beginning in 2011 heavy trucks going 60 miles an hour must be able to come to a complete stop in 250 feet. The current standard is 355 feet.

Land Line Now asked Rick Craig, OOIDA director of regulatory affairs, for the Association’s reaction to the rule.

“Generally we’re supportive of reducing stopping distances,” said Craig. “Obviously it’s going to have an impact on reducing crashes and so forth, but the question always remains: How much is it ultimately going to end up costing?”

Craig also discussed the technology required for the new braking standard.

“Although the manufacturers are saying they can achieve this 30 percent reduction by going to larger brake drums, others say that they could require disc brakes. And it’s probably going to require much better steering-axle brakes to achieve these reductions,” Craig said.

NHTSA thinks the new braking-distance rule will save 227 lives each year, according to a news release.

– By Reed Black, staff writer