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Safety guidelines for underride guards

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration plans to establish new safety guidelines for underride guards used on commercial trucks. Texas motorists should know of the steps the NHTSA is taking to reduce the hazards that commercial trucks can pose to others on the road.

An underride accident takes place when a passenger vehicle crashes into a commercial truck and moves underneath the truck from the side or rear. During the process, it can have its roof sheared of, which can result in severe injuries or death to its occupants.

While rear underride guards have been required for commercial trucks since 1953, there have not been any regulations regarding guards on the sides of the trucks or the type and standard of quality of the materials used to construct underride guards. The NHTSA is proposing to address these issues.

Although the agency has not publicized the exact standards it will suggest, it has asked the public and experts in vehicle safety to provide comment. During a day-long conference held at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Vehicle Research Center in May 2016, safety specialists, government representatives and truck company owners offered varying opinions regarding how to resolve the issue of preventing underride accidents. One concern emerging from the impending regulations is whether truck company owners will be in compliance. Some have voiced concerns about the cost associated with guard upgrades and how it will affect their profits.

While the regulations may reduce the severity of injuries incurred in an underride truck accident, they will not have any effect on the cause of these accidents, which can often be negligence on the part of the truck driver. People who have been injured in such a collision may want to meet with an attorney to see what recourse they may have.

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