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Boston and New York leading the way toward safer streets


New laws in Boston and New York to help prevent fatalities from truck accidents and pedestrian deaths

Steven Gursten of the Michigan Auto Law blog has a great post about truck safety. A few months ago, Boston became the first US city to require side guards on large commercial trucks. The purpose of the side-guard is to prevent other vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians from becoming caught underneath trucks.

Why is this important? Well, “underride” accidents are actually a serious concern. Underrides occur when a smaller vehicle becomes caught under the back of a truck in the event of a crash. Most trucks have underride bars, which are designed to prevent this from happening. When they function correctly, they can prevent significant injury. When they fail, passengers inside the smaller vehicle can be crushed, killed, or decapitated.

The side-guards will help to thwart these kinds of accidents for other drivers on the road. But, they also serve to protect cyclists and pedestrians. Of the fatal pedestrian accidents that occurred in Boston since 2011, most of them involved a truck or a bus. The side guard is designed to keep cyclists and pedestrians out from under large trucks, thereby, hopefully, preventing collisions from being fatal when they do occur.

In addition to the side guards, Boston has also implemented the use of new “cross over” mirrors that significantly improve truck drivers’ ability to see pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists who may be traveling in large blind spots in front of the cab.

In the same year, NYC made some significant changes in order to promote the safety of its pedestrians and eliminate traffic deaths. By reducing the speed limit and ramping up law enforcement, the city was able to bring the number of pedestrian deaths – which was on the rise – to an all-time low.

This is the kind of action we would like to see more of across the country, and especially here in Pennsylvania, where we see a great deal of commercial trucking traffic. But, a lot of those trucks we see on the road are from out of state, so it truly must be a national effort to make our roads safer. The good news is that cities like New York and Boston are making moves in the right direction.

If you or a loved one have been in an accident involving  a large truck, the truck accident attorneys at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys can help. We welcome your inquiries and our initial consultation is free.

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