According to one source, hundreds of people are killed by a very specific design defect in tractor trailers. About 600 people each year are killed by a trucking accident known as underride collisions. This type of accident occurs when a vehicle runs straight into the side or the back of a truck’s trailer and goes underneath the trailer. Even at low speeds, the bottom of the trailer sheers the roof of the car, which often kills the occupants. If the car collides with the axil of the truck, it may prevent the car from going completely under, but is no guarantee that serious injuries will not still occur.
In the below video, two (2) crash tests were conducted to see how well different underride guards can prevent serious injuries, as opposed to a crash where no guards were used.
As seen in the video, these accidents are preventable by installing underride guards on the sides of the truck. New laws require trucks to have underride guards on the rear of the truck, but not the sides. Those opposed to the idea state side guards add weight to the truck and would increase fuel costs. They also question the effectiveness of these guards, as the rear guards are not highly effective in preventing serious injuries. Anything above a 35 MPH collision would make the rear guard ineffective.
Makers of underride guards, such as the company AirFlow Deflectors, who make Angel Wings, completely disagree with these statements. They state that their guards are aerodynamic and actually improve fuel efficiency. Many believe the trucking industry is opposing this safety idea because they do not want to spend the money to alter all of their trucks. The Angel Wings cost around $3,000 to install their guard on a 53-foot trailer.
Many are petitioning their local governments to enact legislation to prevent serious injuries and death involving these types of trucking accidents. The “Stop Underrides Act” would make side guards mandatory for all trucks. It would also enhance front and rear protection for these trucks, as the current ones required buckle under too much pressure. At this time, there is no date for when this Act will go before Congress.
Contact a Rhode Island Trucking Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one were injured in a trucking accident, you should contact d’Oliveira & Associates. Our skilled Rhode Island Trucking Accident Lawyers have the experience and knowledge to get you the compensation you deserve. There is no upfront out of pocket costs to you and you only pay if your case is won and you receive a settlement or award. Contact us toll-free at 800-992-6878 or fill out a contact form online for a free (no obligation) case evaluation.