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The NHTSA Is Exploring the Need for a Side Underride Guard Requirement

 Posted on May 08, 2023 in Car Accident

arlington heights truck accident lawyerOn January 11, a final rule concerning rear underride guards for large commercial trucks went into effect. This rule was crafted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which is the federal agency that is tasked with preventing motor vehicle accidents from occurring. Rear underride guards help to prevent specific kinds of truck accident scenarios from unfolding. Now, the NHTSA is questioning whether a similar rule should be instituted concerning side underride guards.

The Function of Underride Guards

Due to the difference in size between large commercial trucks and passenger vehicles, there is a significant risk that rear-ending a large commercial truck could cause a following vehicle to become trapped under the belly of the lead vehicle. These crashes tend to be devastating, as they can shear off the top half of a passenger vehicle, exposing the vehicle’s occupants to catastrophic or fatal injury risks.

Rear underride guards help to prevent this exact accident scenario. Side underride guards would prevent a similar accident type, wherein a passenger vehicle becomes stuck under a large commercial vehicle after colliding with it from a side angle. In explaining its proposal for a side underride guard requirement, the NHTSA described underride crashes as “horrific.”

What Is Next for the NHSTA’s Approach to This Issue?

The NHTSA published a so-called “advance notice of proposed rulemaking” concerning a side underride requirement in the April 21 publication of the Federal Register. This step in the regulatory process allows the agency to solicit comments from the public about issues of concern related to a proposed regulatory shift. After the comment period has concluded, the NHTSA will take public responses under advisement as it continues to explore whether to implement a mandatory side underride rule or not.

The evolution of safety regulations related to motor vehicles often moves at a relatively slow pace, partially because motor vehicles and the nation’s roadways are both complex realities. Yet, the fact that progress is being made on this issue is a hopeful sign for safety advocates and travelers throughout Illinois and across the country.

Speak with an Arlington Heights, IL Truck Accident Lawyer for Personalized Assistance

If you or a loved one has suffered physical harm as a result of an underride accident or another kind of motor vehicle crash, consider connecting with the reputable Arlington Heights, Illinois truck accident lawyers at Newland & Newland, LLP to evaluate whether it may be in your best interest to pursue legal action at this time.

In the event that another’s negligence, recklessness, or intentionally dangerous conduct contributed to the cause(s) of your harm, you may be entitled to significant compensation. Speaking with our team can help you to make informed decisions about pursuing any recourse to which you may be entitled. You can call our team at 847-797-8000 or reach out via our firm’s website at any time to get started. We look forward to hearing from you.  




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