Grieving families witnessed a crash test in Ruckersville, Virginia last week that demonstrated a new tractor trailer safety technology that could save lives. The test was organized by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The crash showed the audience on hand a new side underguard technology that can be fitted to the sides of tractor trailers. This new safety design could prevent some deadly side impact crashes with trailers.
Two of the families who saw the test have children who were killed in truck underride crashes. In the test, a Chevy Malibu struck the side of the trailer at 40 MPH. It was stopped with moderate damage by a side guard called an Angel Wing that is made by the company Air Flow Deflector. Without the safety device, the car would have been wedged under the trailer, probably seriously injuring or killing vehicle occupants.
According to the Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association, fitting trailers with sideguards is possible but it is a complex issue. The organization states that there are many operational issues to consider. Different trailers have different configurations, and different trailers are used in different ways that affect the new sideguard device. One problem is with the sideguards go low to the ground and this can be an issue for trailers that have to go over railroad crossings.
The association also claims that the $3900 price per trailer would cause trucking companies to reduce payload and add more trailers and trucks to the road.
Still, many stakeholders think that US trucking companies should adopt the Angel Wing technology to save lives.
Our tractor trailer personal injury attorneys wish that trucking companies in the US would add sideguards to their rigs. These companies always are going to argue that any new safety technology is too expensive to adopt. But sideguards could certainly prevent many deadly side collision truck accidents. Some of those truck accidents were caused by truck drivers driving irresponsibly, as well.
If you or a loved one was injured in a tractor trailer accident, whether it was a side, rear or other impact, you may want to consider filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. You may be entitled to compensation under the law. Many people with injuries are entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, lost earnings and medical expenses. Recovering from tractor trailer injuries can take months or years and is expensive.
Our Virginia truck crash and personal injury law firm helped a truck accident victim’s family recover a $3.5 million settlement in a tragic truck crash. And we think that more families should consider this type of action to hold trucking companies accountable for their negligence.
An experienced personal injury attorney with dual licensure in Virginia and North Carolina, Eric Washburn received a B.B.A. in Finance from James Madison University—initially worked in the information technology field before obtaining his law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan. Once an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Danville, Va., Eric has been recognized by Super Lawyers Magazine as a “Rising Star” Super Lawyer in Virginia since 2014.