The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Feds Advance Stricter Big-Rig Underride Guard Rules

January 04, 2016

NHTSA is proposing tighter regulations aimed at preventing underride crashes. Photo courtesy of NHTSA.
NHTSA is proposing tighter regulations aimed at preventing underride crashes. Photo courtesy of NHTSA.

The public has until Feb. 16 to submit feedback about proposed federal safety standard changes aimed at providing better underride protection for light vehicles when they rear-end big rigs.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in December proposed to adopt new requirements like those in effect in Canada. Rear impact guards would need to provide enough strength and energy absorption to protect occupants of compact and subcompact passenger cars crashing into the rear of trailer and semi-trailer trucks at 35 mph.

Earlier in 2015, NHTSA proposed a separate rule change on rear underride crash protection and visibility conspicuity of single-unit trucks.

NHTSA has estimated that many new trailers sold in the U.S. are already in compliance with the more stringent requirements now under consideration. Most trailers and semitrailers are currently required to have bars, known as rear-impact guards, hanging down from the back of the trailer to prevent underride.

“NHTSA estimates, on average, that the annual incremental material and fuel cost would be $13 million to ensure that all applicable future trailers and semitrailers in the U.S. fleet will be built to the more rigorous standards,” the agency said.

In general, rear underride crashes occur when the front end of a car strikes the rear of a tractor-trailer or semitrailer truck and slides under it. In severe underride crashes, passenger compartment intrusion can result in severe injuries and even fatalities. A rear-impact guard prevents such intrusion when it engages the smaller striking vehicle and stops it from sliding too far under the truck’s bed and chassis.

To learn more about the proposed changes or to leave a comment, click here. 

Twitter Facebook Google+


Please note that comments may be moderated. 
Leave this field empty:

  1. 1. BarbRRB [ January 05, 2016 @ 09:07AM ]

    I have forever seen a problem here. Surprised it has taken so long. In my opinion the smaller cracker boxes, also known as compact cars only to save fuel, this problem has grown tremendously.


Fleet Incentives

Determine the actual cost of owning and running a vehicle in your fleet. Compare vehicles by class and model.


Fleet Tracking And Telematics

Todd Ewing from Fleetmatics will answer your questions and challenges

View All


Fleet Management And Leasing

Merchants Experts will answer your questions and challenges

View All


Sponsored by

Founded in 1939 by Zollie Frank and Armund Schoen, Wheels is one of the original leasing companies.

Read more

Up Next

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher