Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, a manufacturer of active safety and braking system technologies, encourages the efforts of Operation Safe Driver, which takes place this year October 14 to 20. Launched in 2007 by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), Operation Safe Driver aims to reduce the number of deaths resulting from crashes involving large trucks, buses and passenger vehicles.
CVSA, in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), will hold activities in the United States, Canada and Mexico that promote traffic law and safety belt enforcement, roadside inspections, regulatory compliance and commercial driver education. Operation Safe Driver also aims to educate all drivers about safe operations around commercial vehicles.
Approximately 4,000 people are killed each year in crashes between passenger vehicles and large trucks and buses, according to CVSA, and the costs of large truck crashes exceed $19 billion annually.
Bendix believes Operation Safe Driver presents an opportunity to highlight the many ways that fleets, owner-operators and drivers can have a direct impact on improving roadway safety. Keys, according to the company, are recruiting and training safe drivers, adopting active and supportive safety technologies, and staying atop industry best practices for maintenance and inspection.
"Everything begins with safe drivers, safe driving practices, and comprehensive driver training. These are irreplaceable in any approach to reducing the potential for accidents on today's challenging roadways," said Fred Andersky, Bendix director of government and industry affairs. "In addition, advanced braking and safety technologies can help even the best drivers respond to constantly changing highway situations. Continual opportunities for safety education, especially as it relates to driving practices, maintenance and inspection, are critical to the industry as well. At Bendix, we strive to advance the mission of safety through new active and supportive safety technologies and ongoing industry education."
Bendix continues its commitment to deliver technologies designed to help commercial vehicle drivers operate their vehicles safely. These technologies include the Bendix ESP Electronic Stability Program full-stability system, Bendix Wingman Advanced – A Collision Mitigation Technology, and the full line of Bendix wheel-end solutions that exceed the requirements of today's reduced stopping distance regulations.
When it comes to stability, full-stability technology is more comprehensive than roll-only stability. Unlike roll-only systems, full-stability systems – such as Bendix ESP – address both roll and directional stability. While roll-only options function on dry surfaces, full-stability systems recognize and mitigate conditions that could lead to rollover and loss-of-control situations sooner on dry surfaces, and in a wider range of driving and road conditions, including snowy, ice-covered and slippery surfaces. Full-stability systems rely on automatic brake interventions involving the steer, drive and trailer axles. Slowing the vehicle quickly helps mitigate rollovers faster, while slowing and redirecting can help the driver maneuver in loss-of-control situations.
Bendix ESP – with over 200,000 systems on the road today – is the foundation for other Bendix advanced active safety technologies, such as Bendix Wingman Advanced, which combines both adaptive cruise control and collision mitigation to help drivers mitigate or reduce the intensity of potential rear-end collision situations.
"Over and over again, we hear stories from fleets and drivers about the value of full-stability and collision mitigation technologies – from peace of mind to ROI," Andersky said. "What we learn from them continues to drive, inform, and advance our efforts."
Bendix brakes that allow shorter stops include the new, higher-performing version of its Extended Service drum brake (Bendix ES brakes). The ES drum brakes, which meet and exceed the new federal reduced stopping distance mandate, are produced by Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC, a joint venture between Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC and Dana Commercial Vehicle Products, LLC.
Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake also produces the popular Bendix ADB22X air disc brake. The patented air disc brake is a lightweight air disc brake design proven to significantly reduce stopping distance and extend brake system life for commercial vehicles.
In addition to its technologies, Bendix promotes safety by assisting drivers and fleets through outreach and education. The company has delivered important safety information to thousands of industry leaders, fleets, owner-operators and drivers through technology demonstrations and educational sessions.
Bendix provides commercial fleets, technicians, and drivers with the tools they need to ensure safe operation through proper inspections, regulatory compliance, maintenance, and repair. The company offers field-tested sales and service professionals; a 100 percent ASE-certified field technical support team; Bendix ACom diagnostics software; and the Bendix Tech Team, an expert technical support phone line, among other tools. The Bendix Brake Training School, one of the industry's longest-running training programs, has educated more than 250,000 students since its founding more than 50 years ago.
"Roadways today present an ever-increasing array of new obstacles to safety for all drivers," Andersky said. "At Bendix, we believe in supporting the goals of Operation Safe Driver by taking on those obstacles through technology, education and the collaborative efforts of the commercial vehicle industry."