Washington, D.C. – The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued stringent new braking standards for large trucks that will improve stopping distances by 30 per cent.

The agency estimates that the new requirement will save 227 lives and prevent 300 serious injuries each year, and reduce property damage costs by over US$169 million annually.

The new standard requires that a tractor-trailer travelling at 60 mph (96.5 km/h) come to a complete stop in 250 feet (76.2 metres). The old standard required a complete stop within 355 feet (108.2 metres).

The new regulation will be phased in over four years, beginning with 2012 models. It applies only to truck tractors, and does not include single-unit trucks, trailers or buses.

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