Residents of North Carolina and elsewhere in the U.S. should be aware of efforts to increase road safety by requiring trucks to have guards that would prevent deadly underride crashes. An underride crash is a type of accident that occurs when a vehicle slides under a truck. These accidents are often fatal, and hundreds of people are killed each year in these crashes.
In 2017, federal lawmakers attempted to pass legislation that would require underride guards on the sides and fronts of all large trucks. Underride guards are already required on the backs of trucks. The bill would also require that annual truck inspection include inspection of underride guards. However, the legislation has not progressed since it was introduced.
One mother who lost two daughters to an underride collision has been pleading that lawmakers take action and pass the Stop Underrides Act. She has expressed frustration that the bill has been delayed, leading to continued accidents and deaths. One senator expressed sympathy for those who have lost loved ones to underride crashes and assured them that lawmakers are looking at several different versions of underride legislation.
Figures from the Truck Safety Coalition in 2011 showed that 19 percent of fatal two-vehicle collisions involving large trucks and smaller vehicles involved rear impacts. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2011, 260 car occupants were killed when they struck the rears of trucks.
People who have been injured as a result of a crash involving a truck may consider working with an attorney with experience in commercial truck accidents. An attorney might be able to prove that the truck driver or truck company was at fault for the accident, which may lead to compensation for damages such as medical expenses and pain and suffering.