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Sep 2022

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Revises Rear Impact Protection

NHTSA published in the Federal Register (Vol. 87 No. 135; Docket No. NHTSA-2022-0053) Final Rules (FRs) amending FMVSS 223 - Rear Impact Guards and FMVSS 224 - Rear Impact Protection. These FRs upgrade the FMVSSs addressing rear underride protection in crashes of passenger vehicles into trailers and semitrailers by adopting similar requirements to Transport Canada's standard for rear impact guards. Adopting these standards will require rear impact guards to provide sufficient strength and energy absorption to protect occupants of compact and subcompact passenger cars impacting the rear of trailers at 35 miles per hour (mph). This FR responds to and fulfills the rulemaking mandate of the November 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and DOT's January 2022 National Roadway Safety Strategy which describes the five key objectives of the Department's Safe System Approach: safer people, safer roads, safer vehicles, safer speeds, and post-crash care. After carefully reviewing the comments submitted for the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), NHTSA is adopting the NPRM content with no significant changes. They did clarify the wording that attachment hardware remains intact during quasi-static load tests in FMVSS 223 and also made a technical correction to the citation referenced in the definition of 'temporary living quarters' in FMVSS 224.

The effective date is January 11, 2023 with the compliance date of July 15, 2024. Optional early compliance is permitted. Petitions for reconsideration for reconsideration FR were required by August 29, 2022.

TheseFinal Rules are available on InterRegs.NET for our USA Federal subscribers and are also available at