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Understanding truck underride accidents and regulations

On Behalf of | Jul 3, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Truck underride accidents can have devastating consequences for people traveling in smaller vehicles.

Crashing into the side or back of a semi-truck can result in fatalities or severe injuries. More regulations regarding truck guards could potentially save lives.

Types of underride collisions

Truck underride accidents can occur in two different ways. Rear underride collisions occur when a passenger vehicle rear-ends a truck trailer, typically when the truck has poor markings or moves too slowly.

Side underride collisions are often the result of a truck turning onto a street or crossing an intersection. Most of these collisions occur at night when visibility is low. Sometimes drivers simply misjudge the speed of a large truck and crash.

Weather is a significant factor in many truck accident cases. Smaller vehicles easily lose control in dangerous road conditions, often resulting in catastrophic crashes.

Requirement for rear guards

Currently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requires all large commercial trucks to have a guard on the rear of the trailer. Having strong underride guards can prevent cars from sliding under in a rear-end collision and crashing the windshield into the truck bed.

The need for side guards

Currently, the NHTSA does not require side guards. The cost of outfitting all large trucks in the U.S. would be substantial. However, the lives saved make it worth the investment. The NHTSA recommends side guards for their safety benefits, but no legal requirement currently exists.

Most people agree that the trucking industry and state or federal legislatures should consider regulating side guards.