Rear impact guard rule for straight trucks reaches White House

Updated Jun 18, 2015

rear guardRulemaking to consider requirements for rear impact guards and other safety strategies on single unit trucks has reached the next stage.  A separate rulemaking to require the guards on trailers and semi-trailers, however, is running slightly behind its single-unit counterpart.

On June 12, the White House Office of Management and Budget received the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s proposal to require devices to mitigate rear-end underride crashes of single unit trucks. Last July, NHTSA said it would issue an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for rear impact guards for single unit trucks and a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the guards on trailers and semi-trailers.

The agency began the efforts last year after the Truck Safety Coalition petitioned to have all trucks and trailers equipped with energy-absorbing rear impact or underride guards guards. These would be mounted lower to the ground — 16 inches — with vertical supports spaced farther apart — 8 inches from the side edges.

The coalition says these guards would effectively protect car occupants from death and injury in rear impact crashes.