Safety experts are calling on federal lawmakers to require all semi-truck trailers to have safety guards that could prevent so-called “side underride” accidents, which are almost always fatal in nature.
These crashes occur when a passenger vehicle hits the side of a trailer and moves underneath it. The top of the car often gets torn off upon impact, and many drivers and passengers are decapitated in the process. It can be a horrific type of accident that claims the lives of about 200 people across the country each year.
All efforts to date have stalled
In the past, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recommended side guards to be mandatory on all semi-truck trailers. Federal regulators already require guards on the rear of trailers. But key members of Congress, who tend to receive large campaign contributions from the transportation industry, have not moved forward with any side-guard regulatory proposals.
Side guards are much more common in Europe, where most trailers have them installed standard. However, officials with the Truck Trailers Manufacturers Association say that those regulations are meant only to protect against lower-force accidents, and not the types of crashes that occur at high speeds on highways.
Because of the large size and weight of the average 18-wheeler, truck accidents in Florida and across the country tend to be quite serious in nature. These crashes are more likely to result in death than the more typical accidents involving two or more passenger vehicles.
If you have been injured in a truck accident and need to seek compensation from the at-fault parties or their insurance providers, meet with a knowledgeable Bradenton personal injury attorney at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh.