NTSB aims to prevent ‘underrides’ involving large trucks

Washington – The National Transportation Safety Board on April 3 recommended new safety standards intended to reduce injuries and fatalities caused by vehicles sliding underneath large tractor-trailer trucks.

According to NTSB, these trucks – which consist of a towing vehicle and a separate trailer – have large blind spots to the sides and rear. In addition, smaller vehicles that crash into the trailers have a high risk of sliding underneath, which results in a high fatality rate.

NTSB recommends that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration require newly manufactured tractor-trailers to be equipped with the following safety features:

  • Sensors or rearview cameras to help drivers detect other vehicles in blind spots
  • Side protection systems capable of preventing underriding

Additionally, NTSB is recommending that NHTSA update requirements for outdated rear protection system standards, as well as require trailers to have new labeling to allow investigators to track trailer models that are linked to underride incidents. NTSB asked NHTSA to respond within 90 days.