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NHTSA study: Collision avoidance systems can reduce crashes

One-year field study involved 169 drivers operating 150 tractor-trailers from seven different motor carriers using two 2013-era collision avoidance system packages.

Jun 16, 2016   Sean Kilcarr | Fleet Owner

A one-year field study of collision avoidance systems (CAS) conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) has found that collision avoidance systems (CAS) can reduce if not eliminate crashes, with majority of fleet managers participating in the study calling for this technology to become standard equipment in the industry.

NHTSA’s research – entitled Field Study of Heavy-Vehicle Crash Avoidance Systems: Final Report – sampled 6,000 CAS activations from over 3 million miles and 110,000 hours of “naturalistic driving data” in order to evaluate the reliability of those system activations – including all automatic emergency braking (AEB) and all impact alert (IA) events, according to the agency.

The result? None of those activations were associated with collisions; especially rear-end collisions due to emergency braking by the tractor-trailer.

A total of 169 drivers operating 150 Class 8 tractor-trailers from seven trucking companies across the U.S. participated in NHTSA’s one-year field operational test, driving trucks equipped with either the Meritor WABCO OnGuard or the Bendix Wingman Advanced systems.

Matthew Stevenson, president and general manager for Meritor WABCO stressed in a statement that both of those CAS systems represented “2013 vintage” technology, meaning many improvements to CAS technology were not incorporated in this research.

"While fleets report up to an 87% reduction in rear-end crashes and about 89% reduction in rear-end crash costs with the previous OnGuard system, our newer OnGuard Active will be a further improvement,” he said. “We'll take lessons learned from this study to strive for the prevention of 100% of rear-end collisions moving forward."