Protecting Against Cyclists & Pedestrian Deaths: NHTSA Issues Advance Notice of Proposed Rule

large truck diagram

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Volpe Center, "In the coming years, the simultaneous rapid growth of urban freight and walking and bicycling in the U.S. threatens to increase truck-involved casualties, which are already overrepresented relative to trucks' share of vehicles on the road today."

Bicycle & Pedestrian Stats Involving Trucks

Large trucks are already responsible for approximately 10% of bicyclist and

pedestrian fatalities despite being only 4% of registered vehicles. Nearly half of bicyclists and one-quarter of pedestrians killed by a large truck first make impact with the side of the truck. With bicyclists in-particular, the cyclist can get sucked under the truck (as in this video) while the truck is overtaking the cyclist too closely, or a cyclist or pedestrian can get crushed by the back wheel of a turning truck. Side underride guards installed on large trucks have shown significant impacts on these deadly types of crashes. In fact, studies reviewed by the

Volpe Center have shown as much as a 55%-75% reduction in truck-cyclist deaths, and as much as a 20%-27% reduction in truck-pedestrian deaths.

Side of a Truck

Partially in response to this problem, the November 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), commonly referred to as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), directs the Secretary to conduct research on side underride guards to better understand their overall effectiveness, and assess the feasibility, benefits, costs, and other impacts of installing side underride guards on trailers and semitrailers. In April of 2023, NHTSA issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking input on a potential rule mandating Side Underride Guards on large trucks.

In some cases, the trucking industry has lobbied very hard to prevent this rule, arguing that it does not save enough lives to justify this cost to the industry. However, The Matthews Law Firm places a high value on every lost life. Furthermore, in many cases, these wrongful deaths result in huge insurance claims against the liable trucking companies, often reaching into the tens of millions of dollars.


The Matthews Law Firm supports these common-sense solutions to save lives. If you or a loved-one has been impacted by a collision between a motor vehicle and a motorcycle, bicycle or pedestrian, please give us a call to see if you have a claim against the trucking company. We have successfully resolved numerous claims against trucking companies and other entities operating large trucks. You may be entitled to compensation for injuries, medical expenses, pain and suffering, or even the full value of the life of the deceased person in a wrongful death case.

Share To: