If you’ve seen commercial trucks on the roads of Florida, you’ve likely seen the underride guards on the rear of these vehicles. They are pieces of metal that hang down from the bottom of the truck to nearly the top of the road.
This equipment is required on the rear of all commercial trucks by law. It is there in an effort to prevent vehicles from sliding underneath the rear of a truck in an accident. So, do underride guards save lives?
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducted multiple crash scenarios to study the benefit of underride guards on the sides of commercial trucks. During testing, passenger vehicles traveled at rates of 35 MPH and crashed into the side of trucks. The trucks with underride guards installed prevented the vehicle from sliding completely underneath the truck.
A 53-foot commercial truck without a side underride guard installed would have 72% of its length exposed for a passenger vehicle to slide underneath in an accident. If the truck were to have a side underride guard installed, 62 percent of the truck’s length would be protected.
From 1994 to 2014, more than 4,000 people died because of accidents involving underride with commercial trucks, according to statistics from the Department of Transportation. Of the 4,000 fatalities, more than 1,530 were due to crashes involving side underride.
As you can see, underride guards can save lives. In an effort to prevent deaths in trucking accidents, lawmakers have introduced legislation to require underride guards on the sides of commercial trucks in addition to the guards on the rear.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a commercial truck, an experienced attorney can help you learn more about your legal options for seeking compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and more.