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Dangers of Side Underrides in Truck Accidents

Posted on in Catastrophic Injuries

California accident attorney, California injury lawyerSide underride crashes kill more than 200 people each year in the United States, yet lawmakers have failed to require additional safety measures that could reduce the number of accidents. Side underride accidents are just one of the many dangers trucks pose to passenger cars.

What Is a Side Underride Crash?

A side underride crash occurs when a vehicle comes into contact with a semi-truck along the truck’s side. Because there is no guard or bumper along the side of the truck, a passenger car slides under the truck and strikes the bottom edge of the truck’s trailer or is run over by the truck’s wheels.

Because the accident is not bumper to bumper, any safety features the car has are useless. This is an extremely dangerous accident to get into, and many people are killed or seriously injured in this type of accident.

Advocates Propose Guard Rails for 18-Wheelers

Those who have had loved ones die in side underride crashes or who have survived such accidents believe that requiring side guard rails would help make trucks safer. A woman whose daughter died after she lost control of her car in a snowstorm and struck the side of a truck noticed that in Europe trucks are required to have side guards.

Today, trucks have guards on the rear of the truck. These guards are called Mansfield bars after the actress Jane Mansfield, who died in an accident in the 1960s with a truck that did not have rear guards. After her death, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) mandated rear guards.

However, the NHTSA has not yet required side guards, despite evidence that the guards would provide protection in accidents. Some advocates believe that campaign donations from truck industry groups have kept side guard legislation from moving forward. Additional safety requirements will add to the cost of trucking operations.

The Trucking Industry Opposes Increased Safety Requirements

The trucking industry argues that the side guard rails may not provide the safety that advocates assert. It says that in Europe the rails are added for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.

A trucking lobbying group also argues that guards add cost, present technical challenges and could weaken parts of a trailer or dangerously increase their weight. The group argues that the guards still need further development in order to be technologically feasible.

Contact a San Jose, CA Truck Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one have been injured in a side underride crash, you should contact an attorney immediately. A knowledgeable truck accident attorney will be able to maximize your recovery in instances of death or serious injury.

The San Jose truck accident lawyers at Jachimowicz Law Group offer free initial consultations and take truck accident cases on a contingency fee basis. This means you will not pay out of pocket for your attorney’s services. Call us at 408-246-5500 today.

 

Source:

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/side-underride-crashes-kill-200-people-year-will-congress-act-n711721

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