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Why aren't more under-ride guards mandatory on large trucks?

Although lawmakers continue to push for mandatory under-ride guards, they have not been able to accomplish this goal completely. For readers who might not know, under-ride guards attach to the bottom of tractor-trailers. In the event of a truck accident, the guards can prevent smaller vehicles from sliding underneath a truck upon impact. These guards have the potential to save many thousands of lives across the nation.

At this time, a bipartisan measure known as the Stop Under-rides Act of 2017 is circulating through Congress. If voted through, the Act would make it mandatory to install side under-ride guards on trailers and front guards on trucks. Passage of the Act would also strengthen the laws associated with rear under-ride guards, which have been mandatory in the United States since 1953.

Unfortunately, several trucking groups oppose this measure including the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and the Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association. The opposition likely stems from the costs that would accompany installing more under-ride guards on trucks. However, some trucking groups also say that the extra weight these guards add to the vehicle could weaken a truck's trailer.

Everyone knows that far too many fatal truck accidents occur in America. What people might not realize is that the law can help victims hold responsible parties accountable. An unexpected benefit of cultivating a relationship with injury lawyers and lawmakers is adding your own voice to the nation's growing demand for more protection against truck accidents.

According to the AnnaLeah & Mary website, the state of Georgia reported 147 under-ride deaths from 1994 through 2015. The site also routinely stresses that many truck accidents involving under-ride deaths go misreported. If you believe that your loved one was seriously injured or killed because of a lack of under-ride guards, an attorney can help you learn more about your legal options.

Source: Tank Transport Trader, "Lawmakers Reviewing New Mandates on Truck Guards," accessed April 05, 2018

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