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NHTSA Proposes Rear Impact Guard Rule

On December 7, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) aimed to better comply with underride protection of automobile crashes involving the rear of trailers and semitrailers.

On December 7, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) aimed to better comply with underride protection of automobile crashes involving the rear of trailers and semitrailers.
 
The NPRM will provide an increased layer of protection to occupants of compact and subcompact passenger cars by raising the current threshold for a rear impact guard for frontal crashes from 30 mph to 35 mph. NHTSA will not require used trailers to be retrofitted with rear impact guards. As they stated that in their conclusions retrofitting is not costly and without sufficient safety benefits.
 
The financial burden will be minimal as NHTSA estimates 93% of new trailers sold in the U.S. are already designed to comply with these regulations. NHTSA estimates that upon enactment of the rear impact guards, one life and three serious injuries would be saved annually, while the average implementation cost is $229 and an increase in 49lbs to the trailer.
 
NHTSA have a 60 day comment period which will close on February 16, 2016.  The implementation of the rule will take place in two years, pending a review of public comments.
 
If you have any questions regarding this proposed rulemaking, please contact Peter Einisman at PeterEinisman@trala.org or call (703)299-9120.