Do Semi Trucks Have a ‘Deadly Defect?’
Underride crashes are one of the most devastating types of truck accidents. They occur when passenger vehicles slide underneath the rear of a large truck or the sides of its trailer. This so-called ‘deadly defect’ claims about 600 lives each year, and it can be prevented. By installing protective guards on the front, rear, and sides of all trucks, the trucking industry could save countless lives.
The Stop Underrides Act
After losing her daughter to an underride accident, a Florida mother combined forces with another bereaved local woman – and other parents and safety advocates – to convince their state senator to introduce the Stop Underrides Act. While the act, introduced by Florida Senator Marco Rubio and New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in 2017, has had bipartisan support for the past 3 years, it still is not a law. The act would require 360-degree underride protection in the form of side guards and enhanced front and rear guards in all semi-trucks on the road. Supporters fear the act has not been passed due to the influence of the rich and powerful trucking industry.
No Good Excuse
Shipping companies are not a fan of the Stop Underrides Act, claiming guards are “expensive to install and add weight to a truck,” increasing fuel costs and decreasing cargo capacity. Still, proponents of the act argue that this small adjustment can increase survivability in underride accidents. Further, some companies create $3,000 guards that can improve both fuel savings and aerodynamics. Ultimately, advocates claim the trucking industry has “no good excuse” not to install these life-saving devices. Some go as far as to claim that every tractor-trailer on the road without underride protection is defective.
Justice After Underride Accidents
Trucks may not be safer until the laws change and the trucking industry has an upsetting amount of influence, but failure to take life-saving measures may constitute negligence in personal injury cases.
You can take action before an accident by visiting StopUnderrides.org and learning how to reach out to your lawmakers and push for underride protection.
After an accident, filing a lawsuit may be the only way to balance the scales. If shipping companies fail to save lives or prevent life-changing injuries in pursuit of profits, our attorneys can help you file an injury claim or wrongful death lawsuit.