The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) did an investigation and found that a crucial safety device installed on big rig trucks often fails at the worst possible time. The device in question; an under-ride guard, which is a metal bar that acts as a semi trailer’s rear bumper. It is designed to stop a vehicle from sliding underneath the truck during a rear-impact collision.
During the investigation they discovered the bars’ design standards are dated, and many times the failure of the device to work properly can be deadly. In 2011, 260 of the 2,241 passenger vehicle occupants that died in large truck accidents died when the front of their vehicles struck the rear end of the semitrailers. Earlier research showed that the minimum strength and dimensions required for the under-ride guards are inadequate, prompting the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) to petition the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2011 for tougher standards.
Now trailer manufacturers are installing guards that are much stronger. These stronger guards should help to prevent under-ride, except in accidents occurring on the outer edges of the trailer. All these improvements in vehicle occupant protection count for very little when there are still accidents occurring where the vehicle ends up under a semi-truck. This is so very dangerous because when a vehicle slides underneath a semitrailer the top of the vehicle compartment is crushed because the structures that are put in place to absorb the energy of a crash are bypassed. So are the airbags and the seatbelts, making them unable to do their job. When the airbags and seatbelts can’t do their job the passengers inside the vehicle can experience serious life threatening head and neck injuries.
If you or someone you know have been injured in an auto accident, whether it be in a car, truck, or semitrailer contact the professionals at John Foy & Associates – Attorneys at Law. At John Foy & Associates we offer free no obligation consultations. Contact us today!