Test Results Show the Dangers of Crashes Without Underride Guards

Posted By Kinnard, Clayton & Beveridge || Jun 6, 2017

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently released the results from their study looking at truck crashes where cars slid into side underride guards just two days after a serious crash in Murfreesboro, TN put the driver of a passenger vehicle in the hospital. Despite the timing, this was a previously scheduled release date for the data.

The results provided by the IIHS showed that cars that crashed into the side of a semi-truck would be crushed while sliding underneath the vehicle and cause the driver’s seat to be hit head-on – however, when the truck had a side underride guard attached, the drivers would be untouched in the crash.

This is exactly what happened in the crash on May 8 when a 2012 Nissan Maxima crashed into the side of a semi-truck. Both the driver and passenger were taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where the driver is reportedly in stable condition, while the passenger is in critical condition.

“What you see here is absolutely typical of what these crashes really look like if you have a trailer that doesn't have underride protection,” said Lt. Don Fanning, who is investigating the Murfreesboro crash after seeing the videos released by the IIHS.

According to a letter that the Truck Trailer Manufacturer’s Association sent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2016 in regards to the necessity of side underride guards,

“TTMA believes the customer demand is non-existent, due, in part, to the relatively low frequency of side underride accidents and the significant added cost.”

The IIHS reported that there 301 fatal accidents caused by a vehicle hitting the side of a tractor trailer in 2015. However, federal data doesn’t accurately indicate how many vehicles slid under the truck on impact.

If you were seriously injured in a truck accident, contact our attorneys at Kinnard, Clayton & Beveridge today. We have provided injured victims with experienced representation for more than 35 years, and are committed to fighting for the rights of those in need for as long as our services are required. Give us a call at (615) 933-2893 to discuss your situation with a member of our firm today, or send us your information through our online form.

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