The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed that trucking companies install stronger rear impact guards. These guards are designed to reduce deaths when cars are involved in rear-end collisions with tractor trailers. NHTSA’s proposal would make underride guards capable of protecting passengers in collisions of up to 35 mph, up from the current 30 mph standard.
NHTSA estimates that there are about 400 deaths from cars hitting the backs of trucks each year, with nearly a third of those resulting from objects intruding into the passenger compartment. Without guards in place, when cars go under a truck in a rear-impact collision, drivers and passengers in the car can often suffer severe head trauma or even decapitation.
The new standard, if adopted, would match U.S. requirements with those used in Canada, and would cost the industry an estimated total of $13 million.
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