Underride Accidents | TheLawFirm.com
One of the biggest myths that people believe is that Government agencies exist to protect them. The FDA is a prime example of this myth. It is not, however, the only Government agency that is either behind the times or simply in bed with the companies that produce unsafe products.
A perfect example is that of underride guards. These are the metal safety devices that extends down from the back of the truck. Their role is simple; they are designed to prevent vehicles from sliding under a trailer during a crash.
So why does ThelawFirm.com believe that the Government is irresponsible when it comes to these safety devices? It is because current regulations only require underride guards to be effective in crashes at 30mph or less!
You can see why this would be a problem: the bottom of most trailers is at head-height of passengers for most vehicles. Thus, when a collision occurs, the occupants of passenger vehicles often suffer severe head trauma, if not the horrifying possibility of decapitation.
Hundreds of people die each year in underride crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released a proposal for strengthening regulations. However, this plan would only require underride guards to provide adequate crash protection at 35mph and under! Thus, those involved in higher speed collisions will still be at risk of serious injury or death.
Luckily, some manufacturers are updating their safety designs to make these underguards safer. It really only requires more support at the corners which will makes the guard less likely to penetrate a vehicles passenger compartment.
Since underride injuries and death are mostly preventable with better design, there is no excuse for NHTSA to be so behind the times. While some trucking companies may embrace the newer designs, many others will likely rely on the outdated regulations to keep their trailers on the road. This means that people will be killed or permanently injured.
A simple solution would be to have regulations that require underride guards to be able to withstand an impact at highway speeds. The cost would be minimal and the result could be hundreds of saved lives.
We also find it absurd that the U.S. government doesn't require tractor-trailers to have front or side underride guards. In Europe, front underride guards have been required on large trucks since 1994 to protect passenger vehicle occupants in crashes with combined speeds of about 35 mph. Europe also requires side guards to protect pedestrians and bicyclists but not people in passenger vehicles. Front and side underride guards have the potential to reduce injury risk.
In the meantime, while we wait for the Government to act, if you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an underride collision, the attorneys at TheLawFirm.com can help.
Still have questions? If so, contact us, to schedule a free consultation.
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