Who loses when there is a truck underride crash? Well, of course, the smaller vehicle’s driver and/or passengers (and their loved ones) are the most obvious victims of a truck underride crash. But does anyone else lose when an underride crash occurs?
How about the truck driver, who was not necessarily the one causing the crash but might lose some wages by being off the road in the aftermath? Or, how about the owner of the truck (trailer) who now has a damaged vehicle? Calling them victims makes sense.
But how about the company which manufactured the truck/trailer? Do they lose out on this deal? No. They are not impacted by a failed underride guard on a vehicle which they produce. However, I hope that that will not stop them from voluntarily jumping on the bandwagon and taking the lead to improve safety.
In fact, in 2014, we wrote to numerous companies in the trucking industry–asking them to voluntarily manufacture or purchase trucks with the safest possible underride protection. We are getting ready to send another letter out to them–letting them know what is happening in underride research efforts, which makes this a manageable request.
Some trailer manufacturing companies have been voluntarily taking steps to improve their underride guards. IIHS reports on their progress in this October 2014 Status Report: http://www.iihs.org/externaldata/srdata/docs/sr4907.pdf
For more information on what is happening around the globe to improve underride standards, especially side underride guards, see this article by Andy Young, a truck driver/owner/attorney and chair of the American Association for Justice Truck Litigation Group’s Underride Committee (that’s a mouthful!):
I hope to see a future where the trucking industry goes beyond compliance and voluntarily leads the way to providing the best possible protection by means of more effective underride prevention systems–rear, side, and frontal–on all applicable vehicles.
Please join us in encouraging them to do so.