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IIHS Advocates Stronger Under Ride Guards for Tractor-Trailers to Prevent car accidents and injuries

As an Atlanta injury lawyer, I often find that the kind of damage that results from a rear end truck accident involving a tractor trailer and a car leaves little chance for survival. The Institute Insurance for Highway Safety is now calling on the federal administration to require stronger under ride guards for tractor-trailers and 18-wheelers, to prevent the serious injuries that result from auto accidents in which a car rear-ends these large commercial trucks. I strongly support the move towards improving under ride guards.

Under ride guards hang low at the back of a tractor-trailer, and are designed to protect occupants of a passenger vehicle in case of a rear end accident.When a small passenger vehicle crashes into the back of a tractor-trailer, the bumper and front of the car can slide under the trailer.The under ride guard is supposed to prevent this.However, the Institute Insurance for Highway Safety has found in a study that in low-speed rear-ender accidents involving a tractor-trailer and cars, the under ride guard failed to prevent catastrophic injuries.

The Insurance Institute relied on an analysis of 1,000 accidents between 2001 and 2003.There were 113 accidents that involved passenger vehicles crashing into the back of a tractor-trailer.Out of these, 73% resulted in the passenger vehicle sliding under the tractor-trailer.28 of these accidents were fatal, and out of these, 23 accidents involved those in which the entire front portion of the passenger vehicle slid completely under the trailer.

The occupants of a passenger vehicle in a case like this are at risk for catastrophic injuries, specifically to the head and torso.The Institute Insurance for Highway Safety is now calling on the federal administration to get more involved in ensuring the strength and reliability of these under ride guards, and also to make sure that all trucks come with strong under ride guards.