NHTSA loosens new brake testing standards, by two feet

| Thursday, July 28, 2011

Following multiple petitions for reconsideration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration relaxed the low-speed stopping distance requirements by two feet.

The new standard for loaded tractors tested from an initial speed of 20 mph by increasing the distance from 30 to 32 feet. Unloaded truck stopping distances were increased from 28 to 30 feet.

The changes came after the Truck Manufacturers Association, Heavy Duty Brake Manufacturers Council and Bendix Spicer Foundation Brakes challenged the initial final rule’s stopping distance requirements at low speeds.

The petitions each contended that the requirements for speeds lower than 60 mph had not been validated through actual vehicle test data.

After conducting testing at low speeds, the agency opted to loosen the low-speed stopping distance requirements by two feet. The new requirement goes into effect Aug. 1.

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