Over 2 million semi-trucks are operating in the United States. We share the road with commercial trucks daily. While we need large trucks to deliver our goods across the country, we also need to ensure our safety while we drive. Big rigs can weigh 80,000 pounds when loaded with cargo, so an accident with a truck is dangerous and potentially fatal. Trucks must adhere to safety requirements, including a bumper that meets the standards. Truck bumpers are essential to the safety of vehicles that follow behind.
What are the Dangers of Semi-Truck Bumpers?
Truck bumpers can pose a danger to other drivers for several reasons. Trucks sit higher off the ground than most other vehicles. When a car hits the rear-end of a truck, the bumper needs to protect the vehicle from sliding under the truck. If a truck stops suddenly or when a truck is disabled, another vehicle can easily crash into the back. Since the bumpers are different height, the passenger car can sheer off and sometimes can get stuck under the truck. Unfortunately, these accidents are often fatal for the driver and passengers in the vehicle.
Truck Bumper Rules and Regulations
The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) has safety requirements in place for trailers and semi-trailers. The law requires trailers to have bumpers, known as rear impact guards. The impact guards must comply with federal motor vehicle safety specifications. All trucks must comply with the requirements in effect when the truck was manufactured.
Impact guards must be positioned, so they extend horizontally within four inches of the side of the truck. The guard must be installed, so it is no higher than 22 inches from the ground. The bumper must be at least 3.94 inches tall and has to be within 12 inches from the rear of the truck. The rear bumper must have a certification label or marking to indicate that it complies with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). All trucks manufactured after 1998 must meet the federal standards.
Truck Bumper Repairs
Truck bumpers are made of durable metal; however, they can become damaged. If a truck rearguard gets damaged, the truck owner must make repairs necessary to ensure that it complies with the law. If the damage is minor, it may be possible to straighten out the bumper. If the damage is significant, the owner must replace the entire bumper and any affected parts. A repaired bumper must get certification to show it meets the federal standards.
Truck bumpers provide better safety for other drivers on the road. If a truck does not have the proper bumper attached, the owner may be considered negligent. If you were hurt in an accident with a big truck, you might have money for your injuries and other damages.