Private motorists share high-speed California roadways every day with a mix of other vehicles. Trucks, in particular, pose a disproportionate risk of catastrophic injury or death. Lawmakers in the federal government acknowledged this and have introduced a bill to reduce the amount of danger ordinary citizens face on the roads.
Specifically, the bill in question would mandate certain safety equipment to prevent underride crashes from the side and front of trucks. These deadly collisions happen when smaller vehicles slide beneath large cargo trucks.
Anyone who has ever had a truck-related accident knows that the extreme forces of thousands of pounds are moving quickly down the highway. It is up to the trucking companies and the truckers themselves to observe every precaution possible.
According to NBC, these devastating crashes kill more than 200 people every year. Federal agencies have at least partly recognized the risks by mandating some safety equipment, but the bill before Congress would require additional equipment for truckers.
Those involved with a recent collision may want to avoid the images in the next link. Trucks.com, a highway logistics trade publication, published details of crash tests with and without the side guards discussed in the proposed legislation. From the pictures, it is apparent that these pieces of safety equipment could prevent automobiles from passing beneath a truck trailer during a collision.
The Trucks.com article also shared various perspectives on the bill. Many people have an opinion on the matter, including the families of victims, truckers and even trailer manufacturers. The likelihood that this proposal becomes law will probably depend largely on public opinion and the lobbying of various interest groups.