It doesn't take much analysis to reach the conclusion that truck rollovers are very dangerous. Studies have shown that over 6 percent* of the heavy truck fatalities and incapacitating injuries on U.S roads alone are a result of rollover accidents. Modern trucks fitted with ESP (Electronic Stability Program) have a greater chance of avoiding the problem, but this retrofittable early warning tanker roll-over device provides added safety for older vehicles.

Developed by Bertocco Automotive Engineering of Italy and Shell Chemicals Europe, the early warning roll-over has just been awarded top prize in the EuroTra Safety and Innovation Award 2010.

The system uses a sensor unit mounted between the rear axle to measure the lateral acceleration of the trailer. Data is continuously send through a wireless link to a receiver in the cabin where the driver gets a visual and/or audible early warning if the vehicle is becoming unstable, giving them extra time to react accordingly.

The system is cheap, retrofittable and given that it provides immediate feedback to the driver on the driving decisions they make, it also makes a valuable training aid.

"This simple but effective warning device for drivers is a result of years of work by a highly skilled team'" said Jack Eggels, General Manager for Global Land Logistics at Shell Chemicals. "We are delighted that EuroTra has recognised the hard work that went into to developing this concept into a working device, which can further reduce the risk of tanker rollovers across Europe."

*Evaluation of Heavy Truck Rollover Accidents 1994-2002, Jeffrey L. Evans, Stephen A. Batzer, Stanley B. Andrews, Renfroe Engineering, Inc. [PDF]