Do Underride Guards Actually Work?
Accidents with large trucks can be extremely dangerous if you are in a passenger vehicle. Because commercial trucks and tractor trailers are so massive, a passenger vehicle can actually end up going beneath the truck instead of directly colliding with it. This often results in traumatic injuries and even death.
In an underride accident, passenger cars are essentially crushed underneath the commercial truck. This makes escaping from the vehicle extremely difficult for accident victims. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), at least 5,000 victims are injured each year in underride accidents. Unfortunately, 400 people die every year in these accidents as well.
Because of the inherent dangers involved in underride accidents, federal law mandates that commercial vehicles and tractor trailers use underride guards on the sides and back of their trailers to help prevent these kinds of accidents from happening. However, the effectiveness of these guards has come under scrutiny.
A study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) suggests that these products might not be as functional as they are intended to be. The study ultimately concluded that even when a collision happens at slow speeds, the guards tend to fail. This results in passenger cars still ending up underneath trucks, regardless of the safety mandate.
After numerous testing, the IIHS realized that the majority of underride guards fail to perform their function when a car is traveling at 35 mph. The study has since drawn attention to the need to for higher standards of safety. As their studies have shown, underride guards do not accomplish their designated task, which is to protect accident victims.
Do you have more questions about the effectiveness of underride guards? Call (816) 844-6938 to speak with our truck accident lawyer today. We are here to answer your questions.