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NHTSA considers regulations for underride guards on trucks

In some Kentucky accidents involving large trucks, motorists in cars skid underneath the trucks either from the rear or the side. These accidents, which are called underride collisions, often result in fatalities due to the top of the car being crushed by the underside of the trucks.

Large trucks are required to have underride guards on the rear to help prevent cars from going underneath. There aren't any safety standards about the material's quality or how the guards are constructed, however. This means that some guards do not provide much protection to cars at all. Trucks are also not required to have guards along their sides, meaning that motorists are unprotected from skidding underneath from the side or from the trucks coming over on top of them.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is working to determine whether regulations need to be enacted about the guards. The agency may require truck owners to upgrade existing guards from two bars to four or to install guards along the sides of the trucks. Truck owners have expressed that upgrading their existing guards and installing ones along the sides might be too expensive while also reducing their profits because of needing to meet weight limits.

Big rig accidents have the potential to cause deaths and severe injuries to others who are on the road. While some are unavoidable, many others are caused by truck drivers who are speeding, driving under the influence, distracted or drowsy. Victims who are injured in a crash caused by a negligent truck driver may find it advisable to have the assistance of counsel when seeking compensation for medical expenses and other losses that have been sustained.

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