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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been researching the effectiveness of side underride guards in saving lives during side collisions between semi-trailers and passenger vehicles. And on July 21, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer has called for the federal government to enact better regulations for previously mandated rear guards, as well as side guards. He also wants the NHTSA to expand their research to include front underride guards.
The Department of Transportation has been adding more and more evidence to support claims that side guards can save the majority of lives lost in side collisions, including the most recent studies, but no federal regulations or mandates have been put in place. The recent call to action led by Senator Schumer was predicated upon an accident outside Syracuse, New York, in which four people were killed. Both more stringent rear underride guard regulations as well as the introduction of side guards, the Senator says, will reduce the number of fatal collisions.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in Virginia, the current laws about rear underride guards aren't doing enough. The system doesn't require rear guards that are best able to prevent passenger vehicles from sliding under trailers, which forces all of the impact of the collision into the passenger compartment instead of pushing the energy to the sturdier body of the car. The Institute has been petitioning the NHTSA to upgrade the regulations for greater maintenance, such as rust prevention, to reduce fatalities.
New regulation is not yet settled for rear underride guards and a greater focus on side and front guards is newly receiving national attention. Check Country Supply for more news regarding upcoming regulations and changes in the industry.
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