NHTSA to Upgrade Truck Underride and Conspicuity Rules

July 20, 2015

By David Cullen

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Photo: Tom Berg
Photo: Tom Berg

The National Highway Traffic Safety has issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the rear-underride crash protection and visibility of single-unit trucks.

NHTSA said the ANPRM is “the first step of a larger agency initiative to upgrade the standards for truck and trailer underride crash protection” and aims to gather “significant input from the public and stakeholders on the estimated cost and benefits of safety strategies for these vehicles.”

The agency defines SUTs as trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds with no trailer.


Per NHTSA estimates, a requirement for rear impact guards on single unit trucks could save five lives and prevent 30 injuries a year, at a cost of approximately $669 million to equip some 342,000 vehicles. 

The agency also said a requirement for placing reflective tape on single-unit trucks could save up to 14 lives a year, at a cost of approximately $30 million annually for some 579,000 vehicles.

Accordingly, NHTSA is seeking comments about requirements for rear impact guards on new single-unit trucks and reflective material on the rear and sides of these vehicles.

The agency noted that issuance of the ANPRM stems from granting of a petition last year for rulemaking regarding possible amendments to the federal motor vehicle safety standards relating to rear underride guards.

NHTSA plans to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking on requirements for rear impact guards on trailers later this year.

Comments on the ANPRM on single-unit trucks can be submitted to the docket [No. NHTSA-2015-0070] up to 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Click here to view the ANPRM.


  1. 1. Gil Wortsmann [ July 21, 2015 @ 05:45AM ]

    I have never known why the weight of the vehicle makes any difference to its being hit on the sides or rear. Generally speaking it is the size of the vehicle that is involved in accidents, not its weight.
    Size, not weight should be the determining criteria for reflectors, lights, underride protection, etc. And this includes driver license classifications.

  2. 2. b moss [ July 27, 2015 @ 07:52AM ]

    if drivers cant see an 8' x 12' wall in front of them why should they be driving?do we have to start putting tapes on buildings and pedestrians?


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