Federal agencies Trucking

NHTSA may raise safety standards for truck rear-impact guards

Washington – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is considering new rules to help prevent fatalities caused by vehicles sliding underneath tractor-trailers and single-unit trucks.

In a notice published in the July 10 Federal Register, NHTSA announced it had granted a petition requesting a rulemaking that would raise safety standards for rear-impact guards, which also are known as underride guards.

As part of its announcement, NHTSA noted that the National Transportation Safety Board and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety had requested improvements to rear-impact guards. The petitioners asked NHTSA to align its standards for rear-impact guards with those of Canada, which include higher strength and energy-absorption requirements.

The petitioners also asked NHTSA to begin studies on side guards and front override guards. The agency said it is still evaluating this request and will issue a separate decision at a later date.