What can you do to prevent an underride accident?

If you are driving along and you end up underneath a truck, you are unlikely to come out without serious injuries, at the very least. There’s a fair chance you might die, too.

While the law requires trucks to have rear underride guards, it does not currently mandate side underride protection. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a cost-benefit analysis of side guards and theorized that making them mandatory would save 17 lives and save another 69 people from severe injury each year. They estimate the cost to the industry to be between $973 million and $1.2 billion.

Not everyone agrees with the findings. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) believes the figures for injuries and lives saved would be up to 10 times as high.

Opposition from trucking bodies

Not everyone agrees that underride guards should be mandatory. The president of the  Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association said, “Proponents of side underride guards have never demonstrated how these devices will perform in highway conditions, yet we’re wasting more time reviewing another potential regulatory mandate where the costs outweigh the benefits.”

Self-preservation is key

While the debate rages, your best course of action is to avoid putting yourself in a situation where you could end up underneath a truck.  Giving trucks a wide berth, including staying well back from them allows you more time to get out of the way safely if a truck suddenly slows or swerves.

Clearly, you may need to pass close to trucks at some points in a journey. And however careful you are, you cannot predict every situation. If an accident occurs that is not your fault, it’s crucial to learn more about claiming compensation.


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