Underride guards, installed on the rear and sides of semitrailers, are critical safety features designed to prevent smaller vehicles from sliding underneath the truck in a collision. These guards act as barriers to protect occupants in smaller vehicles from severe injuries or fatalities in crashes involving semitrucks.
By preventing vehicles from slipping beneath the trailer, these safety devices can potentially reduce the risk of catastrophic injuries, particularly those involving decapitation or severe head and neck trauma, which are more likely in accidents without adequate underride protection.
Effectiveness of underride guards
While underride guards are designed to enhance safety, their effectiveness can vary based on design, maintenance and compliance with safety regulations. Despite their intended purpose, there have been challenges regarding the strength and effectiveness of underride guards in certain scenarios.
Because of this, nobody, including truckers and motorists, should assume that these will fully protect anyone from injuries. Motorists can enhance their protection by staying out of the “no-go zone” surrounding the semitruck. Truckers must remain vigilant about watching what’s going on near the rig.
Improvements are always possible
The discussion around underride guards underscores the ongoing efforts to improve road safety. Advocates, researchers and policymakers collaborate to address existing gaps, enhance safety features and implement stricter regulations to further reduce the risks associated with accidents involving semitrucks.
Any victims in semitruck crashes can suffer significant injuries. While underride guards may help to reduce certain risks, it doesn’t eliminate them completely. Those victims may choose to seek compensation for the financial damages. This must happen fairly quickly after the wreck because there are time limits for filing personal injury lawsuits.