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Bipartisan Underride Bill Could Prevent Deadly Crashes

Truck underride bill to require new safety standards

Lawmakers from both parties recently introduced a potentially life-saving bill to mandate that underride guards be installed on the front and sides of large trucks. The Stop Underrides Act of 2017 was introduced by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D- N.Y.) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) as well as Reps. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) and Mark DeSaulnier (D-Calif.).

Under the current federal law, underride guards are only required for the back of trucks. The proposed bill would also require an update of the outdated standards for underride guards on the rear of a truck. Guards would be required to be tested and would need to prevent a vehicle traveling at 35 mph from sliding under a tractor trailer. The standard would apply to single-unit trucks, semis and trailers weighing more than 10,000 lbs.

side underride crashThe goal of this new legislation is to prevent deadly truck underride crashes. This is a safety issue that our truck accident lawyer feels needs to be addressed immediately Guards would help to prevent cars from sliding under large trucks in the event of a vehicle accident. Underride occurs when a car or another passenger vehicle collides with a truck and goes partially or completely underneath the truck. Truck crashes involving underride often cause extreme damage to passenger vehicles, which can result in life-threating injuries to those inside. Truck underride crash victims often suffer severe head injuries, neck injuries, and can even be decapitated when their vehicle slides under a truck.


What is an underride guard?

A truck underride guard is a barrier; usually steel bars, attached to the bottom of the front, back or side of a large truck to prevent a car or another vehicle from sliding underneath in the event of a car truck collision. Many safety advocates, as well as the families of truck underride crash victims and Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys have made truck underride guards a top priority. With all of the advances in passenger vehicle safety, there is no safety feature on a passenger vehicle that can protect from serious injury in the event of truck car collision that results in underride.

Last year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducted underride guard tests on an aftermarket device called the AngelWing that attaches to the sides of a tractor-trailer. The device successfully prevented a midsize car from sliding under the trailer in a 40 mph crash. Well designed and tested underride guards can work and should be required by law.

underride guard

Last year, truck accident lawyer and safety advocate Dan Munley observed an underride guard crash test.

Underride legislation focuses on keeping drivers safe

Underride crashes are often fatal, even at low speeds. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida joined Senator Gillibrand in introducing the bill to the U.S. Senate. The bill would ensure that the annual inspection for all large trucks would include an inspection of the underride guards. The Department of Transportation would also be required to review underride standards every five years to evaluate the need for changes and advancement in technology.

In a press release, Gillibrand said this “bipartisan legislation would save lives and should be passed as quickly as possible to keep Americans safe while they are driving.” She went on to say “with so many unpredictable accidents on the road, underride guards are an easy solution for protecting people and preventing them from dying when a car collides with a truck.” The truck accident lawyers at Munley law wholeheartedly agree and hope to see this legislation pass.





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