Improvements to Rear Guard Regulations Can Save LivesAugust 14, 2017
Few wrecks are more destructive than truck accidents, simply because of the massive size and weight of the vehicle. While every truck accident has the potential to cause catastrophic damage and life-threatening injuries, rear underride accidents are particularly devastating for the occupants of the vehicle that hit the truck. Many of these crashes can be prevented, but various people in the trucking and safety industries believe it will require significant changes to the current requirements for rear guards on tractor trailers.
In an effort to prevent these tragic accidents, the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires that all tractor trailers have rear guards. However, with the way the laws are currently written, the rear guards do not always do what they are supposed to do. In addition, the rear guards are not always properly maintained, which can cause them to become rusted. According to the IIHS crash tests, many of the guards that are already being used on trucks do not prevent fatal crashes, even when the car was travelling below the speed limit. IIHS officials believe steps need to be taken to fix these issues so that people do not continue to lose their lives.
In 2015, the NHTSA issued a notice of a proposed rule to upgrade the safety standards for rear underride protection. They acknowledged that rear end collisions were still causing fatalities even when the victim was wearing their seatbelt and the airbag deployed. However, the agency has not taken any further steps to create stronger rear guard regulations.
Trucking Industry Supports Stricter Regulations
Many in the trucking industry agree that there should be tougher regulations on the use of rear guards. These supporters agree with the government’s efforts to take the necessary steps to do so. Canada already has rear guard standards that are quite high. According to the Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association, over 90 percent of the trailers that are currently being made either meet or surpass the Canadian standard. Yet, the IIHS believes more needs to be done. The IIHS is concerned that the revised rules do not address a number of issues. For example, some tractor trailers would not be required to have rear guards. In addition, rear guards do not protect crash victims if the vehicle hits the guard at an angle rather than head-on.
David Zuby and Matthew Brumbelow, workers for IIHS, are known as top researchers in rear guard safety. They believe that stricter regulations would lead to stronger guards, which would mean fewer fatalities resulting from passengers who crash into the rear of a truck and end up underneath the trailer.
Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Justice for Victims of Underride Accidents
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or suffered a fatality in an underride accident, we understand how devastating this can be. The Baltimore truck accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton will provide you with the experienced legal counsel you need to help get you through this difficult time. Our dedicated team will aggressively pursue the maximum financial compensation you deserve and we will protect your rights throughout the entire process. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent truck accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.