Expect rule requiring rear impact guards

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A federal rule to require rear impact guards on single unit trucks has been cleared by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, meaning the rule will likely be published in the coming weeks.

A new federal rule requiring rear crash guards may be forthcoming.

The rule, which is being published by the DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, will 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. 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 protect car occupants from death and injury in rear impact crashes.

A separate rulemaking to require the guards on trailers and semi-trailers has yet to be sent to the OMB.