NHTSA updates standards for trailer underride protection

July 7, 20220

Federal regulators are accepting applications for a new Advisory Committee on Underride Protection (ACUP). It is to be composed of 20 people and will provide the US Department of Transportation with recommendations on safety rules to reduce accidents with trailers.

The danger is when a car collides with the back of a cargo trailer and slips underneath. Such accidents can be so severe that kill drivers and passengers.

The Minister of Transport will appoint each committee member for a two-year term. Membership applications are accepted within 30 days.

The committee will include two people from each of the following categories:

  • Truck and trailer manufacturers
  • Motor carriers, including independent owner-operators
  • Law enforcement
  • Motor vehicle engineers
  • Motor vehicle crash investigators
  • Truck safety organizations
  • Insurance industry
  • Emergency medical service providers
  • Families of underride crash victims
  • Labor organizations

The committee will include individuals with personal experience and knowledge, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or other factors.

DOT is required to “assess the feasibility, benefits and costs, and any impact on intermodal equipment, cargo mobility (including port operations) and load capacity associated with the installation of side guards on new trailers and semi-trailers…and, if warranted, develop new performance standards for side underride guards.

The NHTSA will publish underride guard protection standards shortly.


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