Will It Happen? Front/Side Guards Recommended for Trucks

Maybe more people will now pay attention to a strong recommendation made by NTSB safety officials.

Regulators from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration mandated rear safety guard installation on large commercial trucks back in 1998. Despite a hard push by safety advocates over the following two decades for an additional mandate covering trucks' sides and fronts, though, no new standard has materialized.

Things may have just changed. The above-cited National Transportation Safety Board has long stressed that installing more so-called "underride" protection on big rigs -- especially on their sides -- would dramatically decrease serious and often fatal accidents resulting from passenger vehicles sliding beneath commercial carriers.

A new would-be law clearly supports that assertion. The Stop Underrides Act of 2017 was introduced in bipartisan fashion in the U.S. Senate earlier this month and will now be further examined en route to its hopeful enactment soon.

Evidence suggests that side-guard installation on the nation's commercial trucking fleet will yield notable results. Reportedly, crashes involving passenger vehicles sliding beneath tractor-trailers and other 18-wheel rigs kill more than 200 people nationally each year.

The lack of side and front guards is "a massive safety design flaw," says Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.

Understandably, there are legions of bill supporters, including one Indiana resident who lost a child in an underride crash some years ago.

She stresses the sad reality that fatalities in such accidents are preventable.

"[F]inally, for the first time, we are on the cusp of making a difference in truck underride deaths," she says.

Tabor Law attorneys strongly support any measures that reasonably promote roadway safety for drivers and passengers in Indiana and nationally. Individuals with questions or concerns regarding personal injuries suffered owing to a vehicle accident can contact our deep legal team for prompt, knowledgeable and aggressive legal representation.