Have you ever gotten overwhelming anxiety as a semi-truck merges into your lane? You’re not alone. People of Philadelphia feel the same and are pushing for a device that could save hundreds of lives every year. Currently, underride guards are vital in trucking, but are not required by law.
Annually, about 200 people are killed in “side underride” accidents in the United States alone. These crashes occur when a small car becomes caught underneath a truck’s trailer. These smaller cars can become dragged by the tractor-trailer and become fatal. Not only are these catastrophes terrifying but they sometimes lead to a train-reaction of highway chaos.
Side guards will save lives, claims Steven Wigrizer. Wigrizer is a personal injury attorney at a Philadelphia law firm. Unfortunately, he sees far too many of these accidents. Therefore, Wigrizer is one of the many pushing for the government to mandate these underride guards.
Many in the trucking industry are against the mandate. Trucking companies and owner-operators will have to come up with the costs for underride guards out-of-pocket. Although, these costs are a lot like insurance. They will later save truckers a lot of money if they were involved in a side underride accident.
The trucking industry claims that adding guards means more weight. Therefore, more weight means less structural integrity. With this reasoning, guards would make the roads less safe. Interestingly, the trucking sector of the transportation industry donated about 1 million dollars to the Senate Commerce within the last six years. Even though, the Senators claim that the donation has not affected their decision, it might have.
So, what do you think? Should underride guards be mandatory, or do they make the roads less safe?