I’ve written several times about the need for side guards on large commercial trucks. Deadly under-ride accidents could easily be prevented with side guards. Commercial trucks often have a very high ground clearance. Maybe you’ve ridden next to a large truck on the roadway and noticed how easily your car could go underneath. That’s a huge danger for people in cars. In side under-ride accidents, car tops can be sheared. These accidents almost always result in horrible injuries or deaths. Several years ago, I helped a family who lost several members in a deadly Limestone County accident where the top of a car was sheared off. The scene was horrific. A few simple safety requirements could have prevented that tragedy.
The danger is not just limited to cars. On our roads and highways, motorcyclists are also at risk. In urban areas, both pedestrians and cyclists are an issue. Previous studies have noted numerous pedestrian and cyclist deaths where a victim went underneath the side of a large truck.
For many years, safety advocates have asked Congress to act. In Europe, side guards have long been a standard safety feature. Numerous research studies show that lives are saved by this simple equipment. Yet, Congress has failed to act. Although our Federal government has failed to take the safety issue seriously, many of our largest cities have adopted side guards on their municipal fleets.