Bill intended to stop under-ride truck crash deaths

Because of their smaller size, a car and its occupants lose in a crash with a larger truck. The results are particularly deadly in an under-side crash when a car sides under a truck's body. Bi-partisan legislation was recently introduced in the U.S. Senate to help prevent these truck accidents.

In these collisions, a car safety's equipment provides no protection because most of the car slides under the truck trailer. The truck crashes through the windows and collides into the vehicle's passengers.

Car occupants often suffer severe head and neck injuries and even decapitation. At lower speeds, these accidents are still deadly.

An under-ride guard is a plain barrier that is attached to a truck's lower area. These devices help prevent a car from sliding underneath a truck during a crash. Although pilot programs show that these devices are effective, current law does not require installation of these devices on trucks.

The Stop Under-rides Act of 2017, introduced by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Marco Rubio, would require the installation of under-ride guards on the truck's sides and front and update existing standards requiring under-ride guards on a truck's rear. Mandatory annual inspections would also include assuring that compliant guards are installed. Every five years, the Department of transportation would have to review under-ride standards to determine whether they are current with the latest technology.

Senator Rubio pointed out that he represents Florida which has the highest number of deaths attributed to under-ride crashes. Senator Gillibrand claimed that the bill provides an easy method to protect people during truck accidents.

The American Trucking Association endorsed this technology. It asked Congress for approval of other measures to improve safety. These include development of technology such as automatic braking and collision systems.

The ATA also called for new electronic logging devices that help prevent truck driver fatigue. These have lowered accident rates and hours of services violations, according to studies

Laws and technology for passenger safety in truck accidents have a way to go. When these accidents are caused by a fatigued, negligent or reckless truck driver, an attorney can help assure that victims and their families can obtain compensation for injuries and losses.

Source: The Trucker.com, "Bipartisan bill introduced to prevent under-ride truck deaths," By The Trucker News Services, Dec. 14, 2017

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