Safety: collision control

Safety: collision control

Accidents cost money by directly and indirectly impacting motor carrier operations and profitability. Direct costs associated with crashes add up quickly.

Accidents cost money by directly and indirectly impacting motor carrier operations and profitability. Direct costs associated with crashes add up quickly. These include the expense of cargo and vehicle damage, injuries and medical bills, towing and replacement vehicles, administrative functions and the effect on insurance premiums. Indirectly, accident costs can include loss of revenue, lost time for employees, extra supervisory time, the cost to hire and train replacement employees, and even accelerated depreciation of equipment.

Several types of technologies are available to help trucks operate more safely and to assist drivers in avoiding incidents. Designed to supplement safe driving practices, for example, are the tractor and trailer roll stability systems offered by several manufacturers. These systems counteract the tendency of a vehicle or combination to tip over while changing direction and in most situations react more quickly and effectively than a driver can.

Also offered by a variety of suppliers are collision avoidance systems that provide added visibility in blind spots around the vehicle. Not to be overlooked as well as are tried and true mirror systems, including the latest technologies offered by manufacturers.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 90 percent of all heavy truck accidents involve driver error, and the majority of those are related to driver inattention. For trucking operations, technologies designed to help drivers operate vehicles safely and avoid accidents can be well worth investigating.



Bendix ABS-6 Advanced with ESP (Electronic Stability Program) is an ABS-based truck stability system capable of recognizing and assisting with both rollover and vehicle under- and over-steer driving situations. ESP responds to a wide range of scenarios and helps mitigate loss of control by monitoring a variety of vehicle parameters and automatically and selectively applying brakes.

In the case of a potential rollover, the system will override the throttle and quickly apply brake pressure at selected wheel ends to slow the vehicle. In the case of vehicle over-steer or under-steer situations, the system will reduce the throttle and apply brakes at one or more wheel ends to better align the vehicle with an appropriate path of travel.

The Bendix ABS-6 Advanced with RSP (Roll Stability Program), an element of ABS-6 with ESP, is an alternative for straight trucks that helps eliminate rollovers through advanced sensing and automatic application of vehicle brakes. Customization of Bendix roll stability solutions is enabled by its patent-pending Auxiliary Design Language (ADL).


The Haldex Trailer Rollover Stability System (TRS), built on the manufacturer’s ABS platform, is designed for one to three or more axle trailers equipped with an air suspension. TRS adjusts for trailer conditions during normal and ABS braking events as well as reacts if conditions indicate a rollover is imminent. Haldex TRS can be retrofitted to current trailers in addition to specified on new vehicles.

Meritor WABCO

Meritor WABCO Vehicle Control Systems offers a variety of stability enhancement systems through North American OEMs. Roll Stability Control (RSC) focuses on a vehicle’s center of gravity and rollover threshold. It intervenes by reducing engine torque, and engaging the engine retarder, and automatically applying drive axle and trailer brakes to slow the vehicle and give the driver added control.

The Meritor WABCO Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system combines RSC rollover prevention with directional stability providing added jackknife prevention, as well as spinout and driftout control caused by rapid lane changes and cornering on slippery surfaces. ESC enhances driver control by selectively applying brakes on front and rear axles, as well as trailer axles, to bring the vehicle back to its intended direction.

Roll Stability Support (RSS) from Meritor WABCO is an independent system for trailers. The technology is an integrated feature of Meritor WABCO ABS. Similar to the tractor’s RSC system, RSS focuses on lateral acceleration and wheel speed, monitoring the critical acceleration limit and automatically applying trailer brakes to reduce the vehicle’s speed.



Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems offers a line of nine vehicle-mounted vision solution configurations designed to improve visibility on the road, day and night. Bendix iXVision infrared night vision system for commercial trucks consists of an externally mounted rooftop infrared camera, which senses heat from the environment and processes the signals electronically. The electronic signals are then transformed into a virtual image projected onto an in-cab head-up display mounted just above the driver’s line of sight.


The Delphi Forewarn Lane Departure Warning System alerts drivers when they unintentionally drift out of their intended lane by using a dash mounted camera and image processing to detect painted lane markers ahead of the vehicle. Alerts can be configured to include audible and/or visual warnings.

Also available from Delphi is the Forewarn Radar Side Alert system for detecting vehicles in the side blind spot when changing lanes and making turns. Automatically enabled whenever the ignition is on, Side Alert uses radar permanently mounted on the side of the vehicle to monitor an approximate 13.1- by 8-ft area.

According to Delphi, when a vehicle is detected in the side blind spot, Forewarn Side Alert provides a visual alert in the side mirror and an audible alert when the turn signal is activated.

Delphi’s Forewarn Active Night Vision system uses near-infrared illuminators integrated into the headlights, an infrared-sensitive camera, and a head-up display to help improve nighttime visibility. Infrared illuminators, invisible to the naked eye, illuminate the road ahead and an in-vehicle infrared-sensitive camera captures the image to provide the driver an enhanced image on the display.


Eaton Corp. has introduced its next generation VORAD (vehicle on-board radar) safety system. The new VORAD VS-400 offers the option to select from several system offerings, including a standard collision warning system with forward-looking radar, Blindspotter side sensor and SmartCruise adaptive cruise control. The basic VORAD package is available through all North American OEMs as a factory-installed option, and as a retrofit system.

Eaton VORAD Forward Collision Warning provides audio and visual alerts to drivers about objects up to 500 ft. ahead, even around curves, and can detect and track up to 20 vehicles at a time. BlindSpotter Side Object Detection System employs a sensor mounted alongside the vehicle to offer a 120-degree field of view. When an object is detected, a red light appears on the display installed in the line of sight with the side mirrors. If a turn signal is activated while the detection light is on, an audio signal warns the driver. VORAD SmartCruise Adaptive Cruise Control Technology automatically reduces engine speed when vehicles get too close by defueling the engine and engaging the engine retarder.

The extraction and real-time wireless transfer of data is now available through a subscription to the safety package of Eaton’s Fleet Resource Manager, powered by @Road, a Web-based mobile resource management tool. The VS-400 launch also included the introduction of a new 77-GHz radar and a new driver interface unit. The new radar is 70 percent lighter and 60 percent smaller than the existing radar and reduces the number of wires from 18 to four, resulting in easier installation. The new VORAD driver interface unit features visual and audio alerts; configurable left/right speaker capability; and is user programmable with the capability to accept driver identification and up to four personal identification numbers.


The AutoVue Lane Departure Warning (LDW) system by Iteris is an integrated unit consisting of a camera, onboard computer and software. Iteris LDW is programmed to recognize the difference between the road and lane markings. The unit’s camera tracks visible lane markings and continually feeds information directly into the computer, which combines this data with the vehicle’s speed. Using image recognition software and proprietary algorithms, the computer can predict when a vehicle begins to drift toward an unintended lane change. When this occurs, the unit automatically emits the rumble strip sound from the left or right speaker (depending on which way the vehicle is drifting), alerting the driver to make a correction.

Lane Scan

Integrated with power mirrors, LaneScan Go Zone provides blind spot scanning at the push of a button, automatically returning the mirror to the original set point when the button is released. Go Zone, which can be retrofitted onto most trucks and tractors, includes a heated powered mirror, a dash-mounted control unit and a remote activation button. Side convex mirrors can also be modified to move along with the powered mirror.

Go Zone is available in right, left and dual scanning systems and can provide drivers with an instant and expanded view of up to six adjacent lanes at the push of a button.

Auto View from LaneScan provides automated mirror control to aid drivers in lane change and merging. The system automatically rotates the right mirror outward in proportion to the right rear corner of the trailer, allowing drivers to see the right side of the vehicle through a right hand turn of 75 degrees or more. Auto View technology is integrated into the 5th wheel and is available in right, left and dual scanning systems for any length combination vehicle.

Mobileye N.V.

Mobileye Advance Warning Systems’ AWS-4000 includes a camera located on the front windshield inside the vehicle and utilizes advanced vision technologies to detect and measure distances and provide drivers with audio and visual alerts. Covered by the system are Forward Collision Warning (FCW), a series of loud, high-pitched sounds and a flashing red icon up to 2.7 seconds before an imminent rear-end collision with the vehicle ahead; Lane Departure Warning (LDW), a directional rumble sound from the right or left speaker that alerts the driver before unintentionally departing from the lane, and Headway Monitoring and Warning (HMW), a digital driving distance gauge that assists in keeping a safe headway from the vehicle in front by sending an audible warning when headway distance becomes dangerous.

Transportation Safety Technologies

The EagleEye Obstacle Detection System uses ultrasonic sensors to detect objects within 10 ft. of the sides or rear of commercial vehicles. System features include up to seven weather resistant, heated sensors to melt snow or ice and ensure proper operation. A dash-mounted digital display provides an audible warning and a distance measurement to an obstacle for drivers. Eagle Eye can also be programmed to sound alerts in specific situations, such as a side obstacle warning only when a turn signal is activated. The system can be installed in less than two hours, the company said.


K-10 Enterprises

The K-10 Eyeball Mirror supplements traditional West Coast mirrors and with its unique radius eliminates dangerous blind spots along the right hand side of a truck or tractor. A new V-2 Bracket assembly from the manufacturer features a fully adjustable gear movement allowing for hassle-free viewing adjustments. The V-2 spring-loaded gear design swings and locks into position, forward and backward, stays in place when operational, and folds away for maintenance or washing without the use of tools.


Retrac Mirrors offers an extensive product line for heavy-duty trucks, including West Coast mirror assemblies, universal retractable assemblies, West Coast mirror heads, motorized mirrors, convex mirror heads, and brackets and clamps. The company’s product line also includes its Aerodynamic Mirror Head with more than 116 sq. ins. of flat glass in motorized, heated or unheated versions and black plastic or chrome finishes.

Rosco Inc.

Rosco AccuStyle mirror heads can be mounted on mirror arms of .75 in. through 1-1/8-inch O.D. tube via a removable clamp cover on the back of the mirror shell for easier OEM and aftermarket installation. The AccuStyle mirror can be mounted on a traditional arm or two-point mount, or a single-point overhang or upright mount. Finishes are available in black and chrome. Complimenting Rosco’s line of AccuStyle OEM and aftermarket mirror products for trucks are West Coast, convex, wide angle and spot mirrors.


Velvac offers a complete line of West Coast mirrors in a wide variety of sizes and styles. The 8 x 16-in. model 2010 mirror features 1/8-in. FSC mirror glass, a heavy-duty motor and a 4-amp temperature-controlled heating element. Velvac also offers a heated version of the 7 x 16-in. angle back West Coast mirror. The polished stainless steel mirror with 1/8-in. silvered glass provides more than 93 sq. ins. of flat viewing area. Its heating element is rated as 12 volt, 10 watt with a 1.2 amp draw.

The new Velvac Aero-Bell tripod mirror system is designed with single-piece mounting bells and a molded clamping system. Each mirror kit includes mounting gaskets and stainless steel brackets, mirror head and hardware. In addition to the standard adjustable tripod design, a solid arm system designed specifically for Freightliner FLD, Columbia and Century Class vehicles is offered. Aero-Bell mirrors can be used on new installations or as retrofits.

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