Truck Side Guard Bill Introduced After Deadly Crashes
Two U.S. senators have introduced a bipartisan bill which aims to change and improve truck safety standards. The goal is to prevent the often deadly crashes which occur when a car slams under a tractor trailer in a collision. With the bill, trucks would be required to be equipped with underride guards.
These side guards are safety devices which cover the exposed space between the undercarriage of a tractor trailer and the road below. By equipping trucks with side guards, it will prevent cars from sliding under trucks in a collision and increasing the likelihood of an already dangerous crashing turning even deadlier.
In July of 2017, two cars slid under a jackknifed tractor trailer in New York, which killed all four occupants. In response, Senator Charles Schumer called for new safety standards to prevent future crashes, and later Senators Kristen Gillibrand and Marco Rubio introduced a law requiring guards.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recommended that trucks be required to be equipped with underride guards since the 1970s, but without any concrete legislation in place, the trucking industry has been very slow to implement these safety features. However, in many countries across the globe, including Japan and the majority of Europe, trucks are mandated to include underride guards and have been for quite some time.