Safety & Compliance

NHTSA to Issue New Rules on Underride Guards

July 11, 2014

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tested underride guards and found many lacking.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tested underride guards and found many lacking.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has granted a petition from the Truck Safety Coalition and will issue an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking pertaining to rear impact/underride guards and other safety strategies for single unit trucks.

“Based on the petition, available information, and the agency's analysis in progress, NHTSA has decided that the petitioners' request related to rear impact guards merits further consideration,” the agency said.

NHTSA also indicated that it will issue a notice of proposed rulemaking focusing on rear impact guards on trailers and semitrailers. The agency said it is still evaluating a petition request from the TSC to improve side guards and front override guards and will issue a separate decision on these issues at a later date.

Last September members of the Truck Safety Coalition met with the Secretary of Transportation to discuss their petition for rulemaking on truck safety issues, according to the Federal Register notice. TSC requested a standard requiring improved underride guards be issued, and that the Department of Transportation begin studies and rulemakings for side guards and front override guards.

In additional correspondence from them to DOT they said that if the federal motor vehicle safety standards for rear underride guards were amended to be equivalent to Canadian motor vehicle safety standards, injuries and fatalities could be avoided. TSC wants all trucks and trailers to be equipped with energy absorbing rear impact guards mounted 16 inches from the ground with vertical supports mounted 18 inches from the side edges.

You can read the notice in the Federal Register.

Related Stories:

Side Underride Guards Among NTSB Safety Recommendations

Video: IIHS Tests Trailer Underride Guards

Trailer Talk Blog: Why Better Underride Guards, and Maybe Other Stuff, Are Worth It

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