Last month at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety meeting in Greene County, VA, there was an in-depth discussion about the benefits of truck underride guards in tractor trailer accidents, and the possibility of new legislation in Richmond and Washington, DC to mandate them.
Truck underride guards are steel bars that attach to the sides and backs of large trucks to prevent smaller vehicles or bicyclists from moving underneath the truck during an accident. The attached video shows the life and death difference they can make in some crashes.
It is estimated that more than 200 lives could be saved each year in truck accidents by the addition of underride guards, and the idea of requiring them has been gaining traction the past few years. The guards first gained national attention when Senate Minority Leader, Charles Schumer began calling for a mandate after 3 ambulance workers and another driver were killed in an accident involving a tractor trailer.
Other organizations that work on truck safety issues have also come out in favor of the new regulations. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has been increasing education about the underguards. Jackie Gillan, President of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety says, “Truck underride crashes are catastrophic but they can be prevented. Trucks are higher off the ground than cars. In a collision, a passenger vehicle can run underneath a truck or trailer, with the truck acting like a guillotine and shearing off or crushing the car’s passenger compartment causing violent death and devastating injuries.”
At Burnett & Williams, we are in favor of this simple, reasonably inexpensive addition to truck safety. It will help keep insurance costs down for the trucking industry, and it will help decrease the injuries that result from some serious car and truck crashes.
If you’ve been hurt in a tractor-trailer truck accident in Virginia, you know how quickly life can change. People who are hurt in a trucking accident may be entitled to compensation from the trucking company if the company and its driver if they are responsible for the collision. Burnett & Williams has handled hundreds of major injury cases in over 25 years of serving Virginia residents, including dozens involving commercial vehicles and trucks. Some of the most serious cases have resulted in multi-million dollar settlements.
If you agree with us that these are a worthwhile safety improvement for tractor trailers, send a note to your representatives in Richmond and Washington. And if you need help with an injury that has resulted from a truck crash, give us a call anytime for a no-fee evaluation: 800-969-1650.