Semitrucks and underride guards: It's time to change the law | The Dickerson & Smith Law Group
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Semitrucks and underride guards: It's time to change the law

Nearly all 18-wheelers are equipped with underride guards on the backs of their trailers. You've probably seen them. They're the metal grates that extend down close to the ground on the backs of semitrucks. These underride guards prevent vehicles from getting stuck under the truck in rearward collisions.

Underride guards are barriers that prevent fatalities in truck crashes when passenger vehicles collide with the backs of 18-wheelers. However, these guards aren't present on the sides of semitrucks. In fact, although there are rules and regulations that support the use of rear underride guards, there are no rules and regulations to support the use of side underride guards. When cars crash into the sides of trailers on semitrucks, their passengers and drivers are at risk of decapitation or suffering other catastrophic injuries.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) recently published results of crash tests performed using trailer undercarriage side guards. These "curtains" made of strong materials stop vehicles from sliding beneath semitrucks in collisions. According to the test results, underride guards can potentially save hundreds of lives every year.

Do you agree that vehicle safety regulators need to update the rules and regulations that currently apply to semitrucks and the use of side underride guards? There are so many ways that semitruck accidents can happen, but if eliminating one particular risk decreases the highway fatality rates, why not implement these safety measures to prevent semitruck accident deaths and other catastrophic injuries?

Regardless, those injured in semitruck accidents and the survivors of fatally injured victims may still pursue compensation for their losses.

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