I recently moved into a new house. This morning I passed a box that has yet to be unpacked. In some past move, I had labeled it “1969 Chicago Cubs Mug” (owned by my diehard Cubs fan husband Jerry).
That caught my attention because, in the last few years, the year 1969 (a fateful Cubs season, now a Thing of the Past) sticks out in my mind as the year that DOT said that they intended to “extend underride protection to the sides” of large trucks.
Well, that would have been wonderful if they had actually done so. But they did not.
Hundreds of people every year could have survived truck crashes. If we estimate 200 people each year, who could still be alive had side guards been required on every truck, times the 49 years since that fateful 1969 baseball season, that would be 9,800 people — almost 10,000 deaths that could have been prevented.
Add to that another 800/year from front and rear underride deaths = 39,200. Almost 50,000 deaths could have been prevented with comprehensive underride protection.