Thomas Built Buses now will provide electronic stability control as a standard, factory-installed feature on all new Saf-T-Liner® C2 diesel and compressed natural gas (CNG) school buses produced on or after July 23. In partnership with Meritor WABCO, SmartTrac™ electronic stability control (ESC) has been part of Thomas Built Buses BusWise® Technologies suite since 2015.
“Electronic stability control is a key safety innovation to aid the driver in maneuvering school buses in slippery or high-risk situations,” said Caley Edgerly, president and CEO of Thomas Built Buses. “Not only does it further increase the safety of a school bus but, by avoiding accidents, school districts also can save money on repairs and avoid the downtime that would result from an accident. ESC has been available as an option on the C2 since 2015, and we are pleased to now offer ESC as a standard, factory-installed feature.”
When faced with the risk of a rollover or loss of control, drivers usually are not aware that vehicle dynamics are about to become critically unstable. This may be especially likely on a slippery curve or during an evasive maneuver. Meritor WABCO’s SmartTrac ESC automatically intervenes by comparing the vehicle’s actual movement to performance models, using various vehicle sensors. If the vehicle shows a tendency to leave the driver’s intended path or exceeds a critical acceleration threshold, SmartTrac ESC helps the driver maintain control. The system works with the Saf-T-Liner C2’s air disc and drum brakes to slow movement and align the vehicle with the driver’s intended path of travel.
The driver remains responsible for safe driving practices in all road conditions. This technology does not replace the need for safe driving. But it does help correct course when the bus loses stability, a huge plus for any driver, especially in tricky weather.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) both recommend that manufacturers install ESC on all buses. Eight U.S. states now require ESC on all school buses and ESC is required for all new school buses in Canada. According to NHSTA, rollovers are the most dangerous type of bus accident and the second-most likely harmful component in single school bus crashes.
To learn more about electronic stability control for your school bus fleet, contact your local Thomas Built Buses dealer.