New DOT Rule Could Prevent Underride Accidents

New DOT Rule Could Prevent Underride Accidents

Days ago, regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), announced their intent to strengthen the safety regulations for trucks in order to reduce the incidence of underride truck accidents.

Underride truck accidents occur when passenger vehicles and trucks collide, causing vehicles to become trapped beneath trucks. Because the point of impact in underride collisions is at the head and chest level of occupants in passenger vehicles, these accidents tend to be incredibly damaging – if not life-threatening.

As the NHTSA recently explained, however, these accidents could prevented with some new mandates, and officials are currently seeking the public’s input regarding these possible mandates in order to better identify their pros and cons.

Proposed Mandates for Single-Unit Trucks: How the NHTSA Is Looking to Reduce Underride Accidents

If a new DOT rule is approved, it would require rear impact guards on certain trucks, a Phoenix truck accident lawyer explains. Contact us if you’ve been hurt in a truck accident.

If a new DOT rule is approved, it would require rear impact guards on certain trucks, a Phoenix truck accident lawyer explains. Contact us if you’ve been hurt in a truck accident.

The specific mandates that could be imposed on single-unit trucks include:

  • Adding rear impact guards to prevent passenger vehicles from being able to go under trucks if a collisions occurs – While the cost of this mandate has been estimated to be about $669 million (to add the guards to more than 340,000 trucks), regulators have noted that these efforts could prevent at least 30 injuries and 5 deaths each year in the U.S.
  • Adding reflective tape to trucks to increase their visibility and, ideally, prevent collisions between passenger vehicles and trucks in the first place – While the cost of this proposed mandate would reportedly be about $30 million (to add tape to nearly 580,000) each year, regulators have revealed that this could save as many as 14 lives each year in the U.S.

It’s important to note here that the proposed mandates at this time are only for single-unit trucks. These trucks (i.e., those for which the cargo and cab are on one chassis and that weigh at least 10,000 pounds) include garbage trucks, delivery trucks, concrete trucks, etc.

The NHTSA has explained that it does expect to issue similar mandates for trailers later this year.

Noting the importance of the NHTSA’s proposal, NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind stated, “If we can raise the public’s awareness of large trucks and help trucks be more visible to others on the road, we can reduce the number of fatalities and injuries in underride crashes – or prevent these crashes from happening in the first place.”

Tell us what you think about the NHTSA’s focus on preventing underride accidents on Facebook & Google+.

Phoenix Truck Accident Lawyer at the Law Office of Richard Langerman

Have you or a loved one been hurt in a truck accident – or in any type of traffic accident? If so, an experienced Phoenix truck accident lawyer at the Law Office of Richard Langerman is here for you, ready to fight for your rights to compensation and justice.

To set up a free, no obligations initial consult with a Phoenix personal injury lawyer, call us today at (602) 240-5525 or send us an email using the contact form at the bottom of this page. From our offices in Phoenix, we provide superior legal services and representation to clients throughout the state of Arizona.

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