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Why Not Make Side Guard Rails Mandatory on Tractor Trailers?

Why Not Make Side Guard Rails Mandatory on Tractor Trailers?

Underride accidents are some of the most horrific on our roads. They happen when a smaller vehicle, particularly a sedan, collides with the rear or side of a large truck and gets stuck underneath it. The force of the collision can cause colossal damage to the vehicle, and cause fatalities and serious injuries to the occupants. One of the consequences of an underride collision is that the roof of the car could be peeled off like a sardine can lid, exposing the heads and bodies of the occupants to whatever is under the vehicle. The impact of the collision is often enough to cause serious injuries in any case. The truck driver whose vehicle has been underridden may not even notice that something has happened and the car can be dragged involuntarily down the road for hundreds of yards, compounding the injuries. The danger of underride accidents is greater at night, especially if the truck is in a dimly lit area, close to or crossing an intersection, entering or exiting a side turning or has faulty lights at the rear or is not fitted with lights on the side. It can be particularly hard to judge the size and shape of a dimly lit or unlit tractor-trailer and that’s when vehicles can more easily crash into the back of a large truck or slide under the truck between the axles at the side. Federal law now makes it compulsory for large trucks to have rear underride protection in the form of a guard rail. However, the laws don’t extend to side guard rails. Evidence exists which suggests that where...
Trucking Alliance Backs Move for Safer Trucks Through Autonomous Driving Technology

Trucking Alliance Backs Move for Safer Trucks Through Autonomous Driving Technology

Few people would dispute that one of the main dangers on Mississippi roads is the number of large trucks traveling on them. What many people may not know is just why so many fatal accidents are caused. The short answer is: driver error. Anything that can help reduce driver errors on Mississippi highways will reduce the number of innocent people killed and maimed every year. Just look at the statistics for our state, supplied by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Over 280,000 crashes involving large trucks in Mississippi alone; Only a third of truck accidents were on an Interstate. The majority were on rural roads; A third of truck accidents occurred at night; Nearly 90% of fatal truck accidents occurred on a weekday. The main causes of truck accidents in Mississippi are: Driving too fast for the conditions; Distracted driving; Driver fatigue; Reckless or aggressive driving including tailgating; Misjudging changing lanes; Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs Less common reasons for truck accidents included defective brakes, tires or steering; bad weather; load too heavy or badly secured loads. Note that the vast majority of accidents that result in someone being killed or seriously injured are due to driver error of some sort. In the majority of cases when a collision takes place between a large, heavy trucks and a smaller vehicle, such as an auto, the occupants of the smaller vehicle invariably come off worse. Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcycle riders are even more at risk than those in a vehicle with four or more wheels and some sort of all round protection....