Tanker rollover study goes to DOT
Oct 17, 2006 6:39 PM
Data collected during a two-year-long cargo tank rollover study will be forwarded to the Department of Transportation shortly, according to Doug Pape with Batelle Laboratories. Regulatory action is a distinct possibility.
Researchers at Batelle looked at the ability of four key factors—trailer design, highway design, vehicle control technology, and driver training—to prevent cargo tank rollovers. Pape discussed some of the aspects of these factors October 17 during the 2006 Cargo Tank Maintenance Seminar in Nashville TN.
Drivers are a significant factor and may have been key contributors in three out of four rollover accidents studied by the Batelle team, Pape said. Further studies should look at driver training and best practices in driver training.
Lowering the center of gravity would improve the stability of tank tr ailers. Pape said this could be done with smaller wheelsand tires, which would reduce the height at the rear of the trailer. Stability also would be enhanced with 102-inch-track axles with widebase tires.
A number of vehicle technology factors were studied, including the electronic stability systems that have entered the market over the past several years. Pape said the devices appear to be very effective, and they are becoming relatively inexpensive to installon new vehicles.
Researchers tracked tanker rollovers county by county across the United States, and they found a number of areas where the design of roads and highways may be contributing to rollovers. That data will be forwarded to the Federal Highway Administration, and could lead to better highway design.
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