Rear Impact Guards Could Be Saving Lives

by Doug Zanes | Last Updated: July 29, 2015

We’ve written a lot about truck accidents here on the Zanes Blog because… well…. we see a lot of those cases come through our doors…

Many of them resulting in tragic deaths and lives changed forever.

In fact, when we asked our Facebook audience how they felt about driving next to semi-trucks, the majority said:


This fear is not unfounded nor is it to be taken lightly. Many accidents that do occur with semi-trucks result in death and often because the smaller vehicle behind the semi-truck ends up under the truck causing immediate death upon impact.

The great news is that The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved a federal rule to require rear impact guards on single unit trucks. As a result, the rule will likely be published in the coming weeks.

What does this mean?

The regulation, which is being published by the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), will require devices to mitigate rear-end underride crashes involving single unit trucks.

In other words, a crash involving a much smaller vehicle would not take the car under the massive wheels of the truck.

In July of 2014, the NHTSA said it would issue an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for rear impact guards for single unit trucks. In addition, the NHTSA indicated that it would produce a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the guards on trailers and semi-trailers.

The Truck Safety Coalition (TSC), based in Arlington Virginia, has been petitioning the NHTSA to require all trucks and trailers to be with energy-absorbing rear impact or underride guards. These guards would be mounted such that they would be 16 inches above the ground.

While the rule has passed the OMB for single unit trucks, a separate rule to require the guards on trailers and semi-trailers has yet to be sent to the OMB.

The TSC says these guards would protect car occupants from death and injury in rear end crashes.

Let’s hope all passes without a hitch!

Doug Zanes
Doug Zanes: Founding Attorney Raised in Douglas, Arizona, and went to college at Arizona State University and graduated from law school at St. Mary’s University School of Law in Texas. Doug began practicing law in Phoenix Arizona in 1997.
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