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Truck accidents are worse with poor rear safety

Throughout Fort Lauderdale, large trucks are a frequent sight. These vehicles carry goods and provide jobs. But, they are massive, fast moving vehicles. And, being in a crash with one can lead to severe injuries, even death. Studies and safety advancements try to reduce those risks, but there is still much that can be done. One issue is a truck's rear underride and the dangers inherent with it.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) believes that underride accidents can be avoided with certain changes. There has been a movement from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to reduce the risks involving underride injuries and fatalities by mandating that trucks have rear guards. The design of a rear guard will stop a truck from sliding under the vehicle's trailer.

The IIHS states that current laws do not ensure that the rear guard serves its purpose and the system needs to be changed. The rear guards tend to rust, and this could mitigate any safety enhancements they provide.

In addition, tests from the IIHS say many rear guards are not proficient at stopping a fatal underride crash, even if the vehicles are not moving at typical highway speeds. The NHTSA began a movement to change truck rules in 2015 by proposing a rule to improve safety standards with truck underrides.

For its part, the American Trucking Association (ATA) is supportive of the plan. The IIHS believes that the proposed changes do not go far enough as some trucks that do not have trailers do not have rear guards.

For people who are in truck accidents, the safety issues are only part of the problem. Since a truck crash has such terrible consequences, it can be financially, personally and emotionally problematic. Those who have been hurt or lost a loved one need assistance in accruing evidence and pursuing compensation through a personal injury or wrongful death case.

Source: wusa9.com, "Truck trailer rear guard rules have huge holes, safety experts say," Eric Flack, July 20, 2017

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