Side Underride Guards Show Life-Saving Potential

Transportation Nation News Feature – Ever since “The Stop Underrides Act of 2017” was introduced in December of last year 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.), the debate over mandating side and front underside guards has been heating up. The bill proposes that rear and side underride guards must be designed and tested to prevent a vehicle traveling 35 mph from sliding under the trailer. Additionally, the standard would apply to trailers, semis and single-unit trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds. Advocates like the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) estimates that 1,475 people in passenger vehicles died in collisions involving tractor-trailers in 2016. Of those killed, 295 passengers were in a vehicle that hit the side of a semi, and 238 passengers died when their vehicle struck the rear. Front collisions caused 915 passenger deaths, and 27 people died when their vehicles hit an unknown part of the truck, according to IIHS data.

Most believe mandating the use of side and front underride guard systems would save lives, but does that mean the government should mandate doing so? Other questions come to mind also like at what cost? Or, how many small business truckers can afford to purchase and install these safety systems? What are other alternatives that might be as effective? The debate will continue, but the benefits of these safety systems are hard to deny once you see the video evidence.

This video is shared courtesy of DPC Cars.

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