Georgia residents who are involved in crashes with large trucks may be at a greater risk of injury or death. In many cases, a smaller vehicle can slide underneath a big rig. This is called an underride, and installing guards on tractor-trailers could prevent such events from occurring. Having this feature is important because airbags may not be effective in such an accident.
The Stop Underrides Act is a bipartisan piece of legislation that would require underride guards on the front and side of a large tractor-trailer. It would also update requirements for rear guards that are already supposed to be installed on big rigs. While most are in compliance with the law, these guards are sometimes unable to absorb the force of a collision with a passenger vehicle.
Money is one reason why side guards have not been installed on larger trucks. According to a 1991 memo written by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it is not cost-effective to do so. However, the NHTSA has not provided any more details on the matter. Furthermore, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is against the move, saying it would cost billions of dollars to comply without providing much safety benefit.
Although safety features may reduce the odds of motor vehicle accidents taking place, drivers can also take steps to ensure their safety and the safety of others. Those who fail to do so may be deemed negligent if an accident occurs. An individual or other entity deemed negligent for a crash may be required to pay damages to accident victims. If a person dies in a wreck, a negligent party may be required to pay the victim’s estate damages such as lost wages. An attorney could help a victim or victim’s family obtain compensation.