Trucks and Trailers Will Soon Have Enhanced Underride Protection
Recently, the United States Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued notice of a proposed rulemaking that would upgrade current safety standards concerning underride guards that are located on the rear of trailers and semitrailers. We previously reported on the dangers of current underride guards, which leave the occupants of motor vehicles at significant risk of traveling under the truck if they rear-end it.
Current Underride Guards Do Not Provide Adequate Protection
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 423 people in cars and small SUVs die each year when their vehicle hits the back of a large truck. Commercial trucks are generally required to be equipped with rear impact guards. These guards are fastened to the backs of semi trucks and trailers to prevent cars from sliding underneath the truck.
While these guards are essential, some recent studies have shown those in the United States to be lacking. A study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that rear impact guards meeting current United States standards did not stop a passenger vehicle from traveling under the truck when moving at just 35 miles per hour. The cars slid right under and crash test dummies were crushed inside the vehicles. Canadian rear impact guards, on the other hand, fared much better. These guards were 75 percent stronger than the United States guards and most of the time the guards did not allow the test vehicle to travel under the truck.
New Proposal Could Save Lives
In light of this alarming evidence, the NHTSA has announced that rear impact guards in the United States will soon become more robust and overall stronger. Rules will now require that guards remain in place and prevent underride accidents when cars are traveling at 35 miles per hour, whereas currently the test is at 30 miles per hour. It will cost some money to implement the new guards, but for the safety of fellow road users, strong rear underride guards are of the utmost importance.
Preventing Underride Accidents
Underride accidents are some of the most severe truck accidents, resulting in frequent head trauma, paralysis, decapitation, and death to the occupants of passenger motor vehicles. Even with stronger rear underride guards, all drivers should take steps to ensure they are never the victims of an underride accident.
To prevent an underride accident, the most important thing you can do is give the truck in front of you plenty of space, more space than you would another car or SUV. Large trucks are hard to see around and could make sudden stops. If you are traveling too close to the truck at the time it stops or slows, you could be at risk of hitting the rear of the truck. Keep your distance to prevent this type of accident.
Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law: Dedicated Georgia Truck Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one is injured in truck accident, the Georgia Truck Accident Attorneys at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, are here to help. Our law firm provides essential assistance to accident victims across Georgia and in the Southeast. We have over 30 years of experience and strive to provide you with the outstanding representation you need to mount your strongest case. The sooner you act after your accident, the greater your chances of obtaining a full recovery. As such, it is important that you seek the assistance of a licensed lawyer as soon as possible. Call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law, 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.