Side underride collisions result in more than 200 deaths in the U.S. each year. In 2015, 301 drivers and passengers were killed when the vehicle struck the side of a semitrailer. Most experts say that many of these gruesome side underride deaths could be avoided if the trucking industry was ordered to install side guards on trailers to deflect cars. Many European countries require side guards on 18 wheelers and other large trucks, but in the U.S., 18 wheelers are not required to have side guards.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducted crash tests on tractor-trailers equipped with side underride guards. The tests show that a well-built guard can prevent a car from sliding beneath a semitrailer, which often results in serious injury or death to passengers.
Heavy Lobbying from the Trucking Industry is Stalling the Implementation of Additional Safety Precautions
According to Joan Claybrook, a consumer advocate who ran the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the 1970’s, said the reason side guards are not used in the U.S. is because the trucking industry wants to “stop any safety standards it can, because it increases the price of a truck.” Safety is taking a backseat to profit. Presently, the trucking industry is heavily lobbying members of congress to avoid implementing heightened safety precautions that would save lives.
Call the 18-Wheeler Accident Attorneys at Morrow & Sheppard LLP for a Free Confidential Consultation
Many collisions with 18-wheelers are entirely preventable. If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident involving a semitrailer, especially a semitrailer not equipped with adequate safety features, you likely are entitled to assert a legal claim for compensation and should contact the 18-wheeler attorneys at Morrow & Sheppard LLP for a free confidential consultation. You can contact us online here or toll-free at 1-800-489-2216.