A recent report from the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center confirmed the deadly consequences of trucks that fail to employ side safety rails. The report, as reviewed by our Nashville truck accident lawyers, indicates that almost 25% of pedestrians and 50% of bicycle riders are killed in truck accidents when they strike the side of the truck. Many trucks have a large clearance from the ground, which makes people vulnerable. The riders and pedestrians can enter the area between the front and rear wheels – often suffering death or catastrophic injuries. The purpose of a truck side guard is to prevent this entrance into the open space from happening.
The Volpe report examined how side guardrails work in foreign countries. In one study of UK trucks, the evidence confirmed that truck side guardrails reduced pedestrian deaths by 20% and bicycle fatalities by over 60% in side-impact truck accident collisions. Side guards on trucks are already required in the European Union, Japan, and Brazil. Canada has also been conducting extensive research. In the United States, some locations, such as Washington, DC, New York City, Boston, and Portland, are developing or have implemented new truck side guard recommendations.
Side guardrails becoming the norm in major US cities
In New York, 240 trucks were installed with guardrails in 2014. Another 10,000 trucks are scheduled for side guard rules by the year 2024. Boston, in 2015, passed an ordinance that requires commercial semi-trailers weighing 26,000 pounds or more to have truck side guards installed. The ordinance mandates the Boston city agencies contract only with companies that have installed:
- Side guards
- Cross-over mirrors
- Convex mirrors and
- Blind-spot awareness decals
The U.S. Department of Transportation has done studies that show that the cost to add the sideguards is an average of $847. As a side benefit, Canadian and Dutch studies also show that side guardrails help increase fuel economy.
At the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm, our Gladiators in Suits keep abreast of recent developments and trends. Our Nashville truck accident lawyers are experienced at showing that trucking companies and drivers failed to comply with regulations and common sense industry standards. If you were injured or a family member died to due to a Tennessee truck crash, please call our firm for help. You can reach us at 615-246-5549 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment in Nashville, Gallatin, or Knoxville.