Introducing Side Guard Cost-Benefit Analysis

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A detailed analysis of the costs and benefits of truck side guards was presented on August 26 at a TEAM Underride Zoom meeting. Eric Heinfather of 2015 side underride victim Riley Huh, originally completed this report in May 2021 and submitted it to NHTSA. In May 2022, he updated the analysis and report and resubmitted them to NHTSA for review. See here :

A cost-benefit analysis provides estimates of the expected benefits that are expected to accrue over a period of time and compares them to the expected costs. USDOT guidelines ensure that the economic costs and benefits of road safety measures can be monetized and compared, leading to informed decision making. Dive into this cost-benefit analysis to see how Eric comes to these conclusions:

  • In 15 years of phasing in, SUGs on new tractor-trailers would save at least 3,560 lives and prevent 35,598 serious injuries.
  • A SUG with an aerodynamic skirt would offset its entire cost in the first year.
  • An SUG regulation pays off because the benefits of side underrun protections far outweigh the costs.

Then answer the question: Should Secretary Buttigieg be able to determine that regulation of side guards would be cost-effective and therefore “warranted”?

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