In a bid to reduce serious injuries and fatalities associated with truck underride crashes, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed a safety rule in 2015 that would require every semi truck to have stronger guards for rear-impact protection.
Underride collision guards are a rigid assembly, fixed to the back of the truck. It is designed to help protect those in passenger cars, which crash with the rear of the truck.
The underride crashes happen when an automobile hits a tractor-trailer, subsequently sliding underneath it. Most underride accidents involve a tiny passenger automobile and a relatively larger truck, with a higher undercarriage clearance. These crashes often bring about life altering injuries for those who are involved.
The rule of the NHTSA focuses on making the terms of the one before it, which complied with FMVSS (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards), better. Under the rule, most semi-trailers have to have the protection guards to prevent autos from sliding beneath their carriage in a rear-end crash.
However, administrators of NHTSA claimed that those guards lacked enough strength to avert injuries or deaths in high-impact and high-speed collisions. With several states increasing the speed limit on highways and roads, the administrators foresaw that stronger, more durable guards were the need of the hour.
To improve undercarriage collision safety, this rule proposed all semi-truck trailers be equipped with such guards specially designed to avert severe injuries or demises as a consequence of high-speed collisions.
The rule addressed the matter of underride safety for lightweight and compact autos involved in semi-trailer rear-end collisions. When a lightweight or compact auto crashes with a semi-trailer at a high speed, PCI (passenger compartment intrusion) occurring is not uncommon.
Passenger compartment intrusion is when a tiny vehicle slides underneath a large rig, which is far enough for the trailer to get into the auto through the windshield. Passenger compartment intrusion can result in serious injuries, decapitation and demise to the passengers and driver of the smaller auto.
The NHTSA feels stronger, more durable guards may prevent passenger compartment intrusion by stopping the small auto before it slides way too far underneath the trailer.
If you have been or a family member has been injured in an underride collision, then get in touch with a semi truck accident lawyer. Most attorneys have great empathy for those injured in truck collisions, and they will strive hard to secure you the financial compensation you deserve.