NEW YORK SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER SEEKS SAFETY FIX AFTER I-90 PILEUP– UNDERRIDE GUARDS CAN SAVE LIVES
Febuary 20, Senator Schumer called for mandatory underide guards on tractor trailers. Underride guards are inexpensive side guards on trailers that prevent injury and save lives. Truck accident attorney John Feroleto has advocated for the simple safety guards to reduce necessary injuries in big rig crashes.
Last month a western New York snowstorm resulted in a fatal pile-up on the I-90. Bad weather can’t be prevented, the death a Western New York man could have been. The family man when the car he was driving slid underneath a tractor trailer. The deadly injuries may have been avoided by the presence of proper underride guards on the tractor trailer.
Underride guards are low-cost safety devices that when added to the rear and sides of large trucks and 18 wheelers prevent deaths. Without these safety devices, when a pedestrian, bicycle rider, motorcycle rider or car and the side of a big rig or tractor trailer collided there is high potential for the victim to be crushed underneath the trailer, or caught in the rotating wheels.
Attorney John Feroleto, an active member of the AAJ trucking litigation group, has dealt with the catastrophic effects of these types of crashes, not only between cars and tractor trailers, but also between large commercial vehicles and bicyclists. In a matter of seconds, in addition to the physical harm to the victim, his or her family, friends and community often suffer a devastating loss, sometimes leaving a hole in a family forever.
Side underride guards would save money for the trucking companies in the long run and save many lives, and innumerable injuries and much heartache for those left behind. It’s not different than adding seatbelts to vehicles. Initially opposed by industry, that single safety change has saved hundreds of thousands of lives and unnecessary personal injuries, if not more.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) must update the minimum federal safety standards for underride guards. They should be present on all big rigs, 18 trailers, tractor-trailers, or other large commercial vehicles. The underride guard standard currently in place is two decades old and badly needs to be updated. In those two decades, approximately 4,000 people have been killed in underride collisions. If you or a loved one is involved in a truck crash or accident with a big rig, you should contact an experienced truck accident lawyer. In addition to the way the accident happened, there may be other factors such as the design of the tractor, trailer, fatigue, violation of federal regulations, and other factors not necessarily apparent from an initial investigation.
Underride collisions are preventable. The Stop Underrides Act of 2017 is proposed legislation that would require commercial trucks to have front and side underride guards. Currently, these life saving devices are merely optional to trucking companies, although some cities are requiring underide guards in many situations. It is expected the legislation would also improve the standards for the rear underride guards.
These improvements are necessary to protect individuals and their family members when traveling on alongside or near these massive commercial vehicles. Truck accident attorney John Feroleto is a supporter of the proposed legislation as a necessary safety measure. Many of us may simply be on our way to school or work when the unthinkable can happen. Proper underride safety devices can make a life-saving difference when collisions with large commercial vehicles occur. An investment well worth the number of lives it can save. For further information, contact the truck accident attorneys at Feroleto law, 716-854-0700