Antilock Brake Systems (ABS) are a promising development for reducing motor vehicle crashes. Since 1985, they have been voluntarily installed by manufacturers on millions of cars and light trucks. The Highway Safety Act of 1991 instructs the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to consider extending this protection to all passenger vehicles, including trucks lighter than 10,000 pounds. This preliminary evaluation of the effectiveness of rear-wheel ABS for light trucks (including pickup trucks, sport-utility vehicles and vans), based on statistical analyses of the accident experience of production vehicles equipped with ABS, is performed in support of NHTSA's regulatory program. The principal findings and conclusions from the analyses of accident data on light trucks are as follows: (1) Rear-wheel antilock (RWAL) brakes are quite effective in reducing the risk of nonfatal run-off-road crashes, for almost every type of light truck, under any type of road condition. Nonfatal rollovers were reduced by about 30-40%, side impacts with fixed objects by 15-30%, and frontal impacts with fixed objects by 5-20%. Many run-off-road crashes of light trucks appear to involve a loss of directional control during braking, and RWAL significantly reduces such loss-of-control crashes. (2) The accident reductions mostly did not carry over to fatal run-off-road crashes of light trucks. (3) RWAL had little or no effect on the nonfatal multivehicle crashes of light trucks. (4) The current accident data produced conflicting estimates about the effect of RWAL in fatal multivehicle crashes. Some of the analyses showed little or no effect, while others showed significant increases with RWAL. (5) The risk of collisions with pedestrians, animals, bicyclists, trains, or on-road objects was significantly reduced in light trucks with rear-wheel ABS. The reduction appears to be about 10-20% in nonfatal collisions (mostly with animals) and 5-15% in fatal collisions (mostly crashes in which a truck contacts and fatally injures a pedestrian or bicyclist.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 110 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00664275
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Aug 8 1994 12:00AM