Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) April 23, 2012 – The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety published a new report recently that raises concerns about the effectiveness of the federally mandated underride guards on tractor trailers.
The guards, which are intended to prevent automobiles and other passenger vehicles from going underneath trailers in rear end collisions or being forced underneath in a chain-reaction accident, were found to fail even at low speeds.
The IIHS is petitioning Washington to require even stronger underride guards. Automobiles are built with front-end crash specifications that allow them to absorb an impact while keeping the driver safe. If an automobile rides up underneath a tractor trailer because the truck didn’t have a guard or it failed, then the car’s front end is unable to absorb the crash and the windshield can collapse – even at low speeds.
“This study makes it clear that more needs to be done to strengthen underride guards,” said Chicago wrongful death attorney Robert Briskman. “This type of automobile and truck accident can be particularly awful.”
There is a low survivability rate in accidents where cars hit trucks with failing underride guards, according to the IIHS.
There are more than 5,000 injuries every year to passengers in vehicles that strike the back of a large truck. Among those victims, 423 die from their injuries, according to an estimate from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“At low speeds, these types of automobile crashes should be survivable,” Briskman said. “Stronger underride guards on trucks would go a long way to making the highways safer. I support the Institute’s push for highway safety.”
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Chicago, IL 60654
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