18 Wheeler "Safety Features" Are Not Safe
Posted by: Christopher Dean
November 25, 2011
Topic: 18-Wheeler Truck Accidents
The horrific event displayed in the picture is not supposed to happen. Underride guards were developed to be the last line of resort to prevent cars, trucks and SUVs from sliding under an 18-wheeler. Despite a 1996 standard calling for the development of underride guards with increased strength, size and energy absorption, underride guards are not required on as many trucks due to specific configurations.
Regardless, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that underride guards on 18-wheeler trucks are not preventing cars from going underneath an 18 wheeler. Despite a federal safety standard for underride guards, there is no testing standard for evaluating underride guards and their placement and hardware. The Large Truck Crash Causation Study, a federal database of about 1,000 actual crashes from 2001-2003, discovered 115 crashes where a passenger vehicle struck the rear of a truck or semi-truck. Of those 1,000 crashes, nearly 80% involved underride guards and approximately half of the vehicles suffered severe or catastrophic damage.
How many safety features a vehicle has is not relevant. If the underride guard is poorly designed, the truck will still rip the car apart. Recognizing these beasts the on the highway, the IIHS is calling for stringent standards and asking for more protocols that will not allow so many trucks to go without guards that do not meet 1996 standards. The need of a more comprehensive standard is evident. A better method of better protecting vehicles and people in offset crashes coupled with better testing to verify that underride guards and their mounting systems live up to the law is warranted.
When Dean Law Firm represents victims of truck wrecks, its attorneys work to enforce the trucking industry rules and regulations. Dean Law Firm wins for its clients. They expose the rule breakers and continuously fight to change the conduct of the trucking company and individual driver. Hire an attorney who understands the regulations of 18-wheeler accidents, who has fought and won for multiple victims of negligent truckers and trucking companies, and who can properly enforce the rules for negligence on the roads of Texas. As long as trucking companies continue to put the lives of people at risk, Dean Law Firm will continue to fight. Please contact Dean Law Firm if you or a loved one has been involved in a trucking accident for a free consultation.
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