Tractor-trailer underride guards have saved countless lives by preventing passenger cars from sliding beneath an 18-wheeler during an accident. But as personal injury attorneys who have represented victims of catastrophic truck accidents, we’re glad to see that the industry strives for even more reforms concerning underride guards.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety believes underride guards can do even more good, and results from some of their recent crash tests shed some light on improvements that can be made.
While recognizing that the trucking industry has greatly improved underride guard standards in recent years, the IIHS recently conducted tests that highlight where deficiencies continue to exist. In particular, the IIHS study found that drivers of cars that slam into either rear corner of a tractor-trailer are still at great risk of sliding under the vehicle.
The insurance group’s findings showed that underride guards were extremely effective in preventing underride in accidents involving cars that crash squarely into the rear of a tractor-trailer. But in test crashes where only a portion of a car’s front end made contact with the rear of a large truck, the underride guards were at risk of buckling or splintering from the trailer. In those cases, the driver of the passenger vehicle was at risk of sliding beneath the truck and suffering more extensive, life-threatening injuries.
We salute the IIHS for continuing to bring this matter to the public’s attention. And we pass along its study’s findings as a reminder that we should never stop striving for improved highway safety, even as it concerns a matter that has made great strides already.
Personal injury lawyer Michael Leizerman is a truck accident attorney who represents drivers and their family members suffering from catastrophic accidents with commercial vehicles. If you believe you have a case against a truck driver or trucking company, contact Michael at 800-628-4500.