The Under Ride Crash: Not all truck accidents are created equal. When a passenger car goes underneath the trailer of an 18 wheeler, the result is often catastrophic for occupants of the car.
This type crash is one of the worst truck accidents possible. Known as an ‘under ride crash’, it seriously injures and kills hundreds of drivers annually as the impact crushes and ofen shears off the top of the car. This happens in Houston, in Texas, and across the nation.
However, a simple fix that can reduce injuries by as much as 90% has been known since the 1960’s. The problem is that this fix has been successfully suppressed by the trucking industry, which claims it can weaken the trailer’s structure and adds weight to the rig.
Political Contributions Have Stifled Consumer Protection in Texas
Underride side guards provide a metal barrier along the length of each side of the trailer. Cars that strike the side of the trailer deflect or simply bounce off the side guard. So why haven’t the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and Congress required them on big rigs long ago? Look no further than the election campaign contributions to members of the transportation committee.
“It would save a lot of lives, but the trucking industry opposes it,” said Joan Claybrook, former head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). “The trucking industry gives a huge amount of money to members of Congress.” Members of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee received more than $9 million in contributions from the transportation sector in last year’s election cycle, according to the report. Meanwhile, Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) has received $731,500 from the industry in the last five years.
European trucks almost universally have underride side guards. This was the epiphany for Lois Durso, whose daughter Roya Sadigh was killed in an underride crash. One year later, on a trip to Europe, Lois noticed the underride side guards on big rigs. Her research on the political stalling in the U. S. fueled an anger to speak out.
Congressional Foot Dragging Needs to Stop
Fifty years of foot dragging while hundreds of Americans die annually in these type crashes is unconscionable. Members of Congress need to put the safety of American drivers ahead of politics. Congress and the NHTSA should require trucking companies to install underride side guards.
When 18 wheelers collide with passenger cars, the result is often tragic. If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash with a big rig, call and speak with an experienced truck accident attorney at The Callahan Law Firm.