Rear impact guards are among several items that require vehicle testing. Recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) upgraded the safety standards addressing rear protection in crashes of passenger vehicles into trailers and semitrailers.

The new rule requires impact guards to provide sufficient strength and energy absorption to protect occupants in passenger cars colliding with trailers traveling up to 35 miles per hour. This rule was created in response to petitions from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Truck Safety Coalition (TSC). Additionally, the new rule aligns with the November 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and the Department of Transportation’s National Roadway Safety Approach: safer people, safer roads, safer vehicles, safer speeds, and post-crash care.

The revised standard will require manufacturers to ensure an equipment static force test is performed on rear impact guards sold for installation on trailers and semi-trailers.  According to the federal register, the new standard is effective as of January 11, 2023, and total compliance is expected by July 2024. Due to this significant change, manufacturers should plan to have current and new designs of impact guards tested under the FMVSS 223 standard.

Especially when rules and regulations change, manufacturers often turn to their trusted third-party test lab partners to help navigate and comply with the new requirements. For further information or assistance, please reach out to us online or by phone at (574) 773-7975.