Proposed rule from NHTSA aims to protect against ‘underride’ truck crashes

truck on highway

Photo: plherrera/iStockphoto

Washington – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking intended to improve protection for “underride” crashes in which smaller vehicles slam into the back of large trucks and slide underneath.

Rear-impact guards already are required for most trailers and semitrailers, according to NHTSA. The proposed rule calls for “more robust” guards that would provide additional protection in crashes at higher speeds.

The agency announced the proposed rule Dec. 7. At press time, it had yet to be published in the Federal Register. Once the proposed rule is published, the agency will accept public comment for the following 60 days.

“Robust trailer rear impact guards can significantly reduce the risk of death or injury to vehicle occupants in the event of a crash into the rear of a trailer or semitrailer,” NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said in a press release. “We’re always looking at ways to safeguard the motoring public, and today’s announcement moves us forward in our mission.”

Rosekind also wrote a blog entry in support of the proposed rulemaking.