Ohio-based Bendix Corp., a major truck-parts manufacturer, could potentially emerge as the primary beneficiary of a mandated standard on rollover- stability technology to prevent truck accidents expected to be announced after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ("NHTSA") finishes research studies.
The NHTSA has long been focused on large trucks and their propensity to roll over and cause exponentially greater damage -- both in terms of human life and property losses -- when they do.
One safety expert estimates that a large truck rollover increases the driver's risk of dying by a 30-fold margin. Data released by the NHTSA indicate that about 700 truckers die from rollover accidents each year in the United States.
And thus the strong focus on making things better, which will start when the agency decides which of competing crash-prevention technologies it will support. Bendix and its primary competitor -- Meritor WABCO, a joint venture between Michigan and New Jersey companies -- have both been heavily invested in rollover stability technology for several years and steadily improving their systems.
Bendix spokespersons believe they have an edge; the company was the first to manufacture an electronic stability system for the commercial market, and its director of government affairs, Fred Andersky, says that it has "the better technology, which "helps drivers in a lot more situations."
The NHTSA expects to announce its preferred crash-prevention standard by the end of the year.
Related Resource: Bloomberg, "Bendix, Meritor Look for Boost from NHTSA's Truck-Rollover Rule" July 12, 2011