NHTSA Considers New Safety Standards for Guards on Large Trucks

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is considering new proposals that would help lower the number of accidents in which passenger vehicles crash underneath commercial trucks, including tractor trailers. One of the biggest dangers that tractor trailers and other large trucks pose is that they are so much higher off the ground than passenger vehicles, which makes them much more susceptible to “underride” accidents, which are accidents that occur when a passenger vehicle crashes into a large truck, and then rolls under the truck. Underride accidents often destroy the top compartment of a vehicle and typically result in fatalities.

Commercial trucks have been required since the 1950’s to have rear underride guards. However, there are no regulations that require underride guards on the sides of trucks. In addition, even for trucks that have underride guards, not all of these guards are built with the same level of quality. There have been no standards set for the types or quality of materials used on these underride guards. Therefore, many of these guards are made of cheap materials and basically offer no protections against vehicles going underneath a truck.

The NHTSA is considering making changes in the safety standards for underride guards. Thus far, it has not announced which changes it may be seeking, but it has invited auto safety experts and the general public to comment on the issue. According to the NHTSA, between 1994 and 2014, there were over 5,000 fatalities which were directly related to underride accidents.

Although large trucks are necessary on the roads to transport the goods we use on a daily basis, they can be dangerous to the other vehicles on the roads. If you have been harmed in an accident involving a tractor trailer, call the Houston tractor trailer accident attorneys at Kennedy Hodges at 855-947-0707. We can help. Call today to learn more, or visit our YouTube channel to learn more. 

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