Last month, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposed that trucking companies should be required to install stronger guards on their trailers in order to reduce fatalities derived from rear-end truck collisions with cars. The current regulation underride guards hang down from the back ends of box trailers, protecting passengers in crashes of up to 30 miles per hour.
An underride is defined as “a type of crash in which a portion of a passenger vehicle slides under another vehicle.” Underrides can occur between two passenger vehicles, but are more common and more dangerous between a large truck and a passenger vehicle.
“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,” stated Mark Rosekind, administrator of the safety agency. “We’re always looking at ways to safeguard the motoring public, and today’s announcement moves us forward in our mission.”
The agency aims to increase the protection by 5 more miles per hour, meaning it would adopt the same requirements used in Canada. They estimate the industry would need to spend about $13 million to satisfy the new trailer standards. The NHSTA will reach a decision by the middle of February.
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