Duchess County, NY- Safety in the trucking industry has improved by leaps and bounds, but some areas need drastic improvement. One of those areas is side underride guards, which are absent on commercial trucks in the U.S. despite the life-saving benefits.
Side underride truck crashes
Side underride guards have been on the radar of trucking safety advocates, but they are getting little traction with underride regulations despite the lives that could be saved. Recently, NBC News reported that 200 people die in side underride crashes every year in the U.S.
According to NBC News, the topic of side underride guards first arose following the death of Hollywood bombshell Jayne Mansfield in 1967. But since the legendary blonde’s death little has been done to prevent the types of crashes that killed Mansfield and many others. Trucking safety advocates have been lobbying for side underride guard and improvements for rear underride guards for decades.
Side underride crashes can be horrific. In many of these crashes, the victims are decapitated, as was Jayne Mansfield was. It is common for the tops of vehicles to be cut off a vehicle, and its passengers are crushed underneath. In a side underride crash, safety features such as seatbelts and airbags give little protection.Two hundred people a year could be saved if commercial trucks side underride guards become mandatory.
Underride regulations and improvements
Current trucking regulations only require commercial trucks in the U.S. be outfitted with at a rear underride guard, but there are no rules requiring side underride guards. Furthermore, the standards for rear underride guards are lax, and many trucks are outfitted with ineffective and decrepit guards.
In a 2011 study, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that a passenger vehicle traveling at 35 mph will slide under a truck if it strikes the underride guard at dead center. If a truck has a weak underride guard, the windshield of a passenger vehicle is the point of impact which makes a truck crash even more deadly.
The IIHS estimates that making side underride guards mandatory on commercial trucks, and strengthening standards for rear underride guards could save hundreds of lives and prevent at least 5,000 injuries every year.
Safety advocates are making little progress with strengthening underride standards, and with the Trump Administration’s desire to severely reduce regulations, it is doubtful there will be any improvements in trucking safety for the next few years.
Contact a truck accident lawyer in Duchess County
Victims of underride crashes, whether it occurs in the rear or on the side, suffer catastrophic injuries. Brain, neck and spinal injuries are common and are often debilitating requiring an extensive recovery period. Some victims never completely recover and they are saddled with the cost of their accident for the rest of their lives.
Truck accident victims in Duchess County, New York can find a truck accident lawyer near their location. The injuries incurred in an underride crash or another type of truck accident can result in exorbitant medical expenses and can drastically alter the course of a victim’s life. That is why you need a truck accident attorney well-versed in New York personal injury laws. Get legal help today by calling one of our outstanding lawyers.