What are the federal guidelines regarding commercial truck underride guards?

While all truck accidents can be serious, an underride truck accident is particularly catastrophic. This happens when a smaller passenger vehicle is trapped underneath the truck’s trailer in a side impact or rear-end collision. The windshield of the auto can be shorn off and the vehicle crushed by the much heavier truck trailer.Victims can suffer tragic injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, paralysis, amputation, and decapitation.

Fortunately, new legislation is being proposed to increase the requirements regarding big rig underride guards.

Current Regulations Regarding Commercial Truck Underride Guards

underride_guardTo reduce the dangers of underride truck accidents, the National Highway Safety Administration implemented federal regulations in 1996 requiring underride guards to be installed on many commercial trucks.

These guards attach to the back of the truck’s trailer to prevent a passenger vehicle from sliding underneath in a rear-end collision.


In 1998, the regulations for underride guards were strengthened, and all commercial trucks with a gross weight of 10,000 pounds after January 26, 1998 were to follow the mandatory guidelines. These regulations increased the number of trucks required to install underride guards and set specific requirements for the height, weight, and strength of the guards.

New Federal Law Proposed to Strengthen Underride Guard Requirements

Not all truck underride accidents are rear-end collisions. A passenger vehicle can be trapped under the truck’s trailer in a side impact crash, and it can also become lodged under the truck in a in an override accident. To prevent these deadly wrecks, The Stop Underride Act of 2017 was introduced in Congress. One of the bill’s sponsors is Senator Marco Rubio from Florida.

The law would apply to commercial trucks weighing 10,000 pounds or more require the following:

  • Strengthened rear underride truck guards
  • Installation of additional underride guards on the sides and front of commercial trucks
  • Development of side and rear guards, tested to prevent a passenger vehicle traveling at 35 mph from sliding under a truck’s trailer
  • Periodic inspection of underride guards, with a mandate that a truck is placed out-of-service if guards need replacement or repair

Were you injured in an underride or other truck accident? You could be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation to learn about our extensive experience handling these cases and how we can help you.