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“Angel Wings” Could Prevent Underride Crashes

Underride accidents could be a thing of the past if a new bipartisan measure is passed. The efforts are to require truck safety guards that would prevent underride crashes. Known as “Angel Wings,” the guards are fitted under the front and sides of tractor trailers and prevent smaller vehicles from sliding under the trucks in collisions. These are currently optional, while back guards have been mandated for years.

Underride Crashes: The Deadly Truth

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that more than 1,400 people died in car accidents involving tractor trailers in 2016. Many of those fatalities were the result of cars striking the sides of trucks. While underride accidents are not detailed in their figures, such incidents are undoubtedly included in the larger set of data. Because the technology exists to prevent such collisions, requiring these guards seems to be an easy solution for such a deadly issue.

Critics of the Guards

Some argue that the guards would end one safety problem but create another. Experts say that the additional weight of the guards could threaten the structural integrity of the tractor trailers. The guards weigh upwards of 16,000 pounds, threatening the fuel economy of the current trucks and adding to the cost of freight across the country. Some drivers also say the guards are ineffective, crumpling quickly under the weight of a collision.

While the debate continues, more lives will undoubtedly be lost to underride accidents.

Virginia Truck Accident Lawyers

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, contact our Virginia car accident personal injury and wrongful death lawyers. The Serpe Firm has helped victims and their families for over 30 years. We will handle the legal issues so that you can focus on yourself and your family during these difficult times.