The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that 4,102 fatalities resulted from large truck crashes in Louisiana and across the country during 2017. The majority of the people who died were not riding in the large trucks involved but rather were other drivers, bicyclists or pedestrians. The most common fatality accidents involving large trucks happen when a person is crushed in the space between the front wheels and the rear wheels of the semi-truck.
Preventing side impacts with large trucks will lead to many lives being saved. One method that some are calling for is requiring truckers and trucking companies to install side guards on semi-trucks that have high clearance above the ground. Side guards were made mandatory in the United Kingdom, and cyclist deaths dropped by 61%, and pedestrian deaths dropped by 20%. The U.S. has been slow, though, to mandate side guards for large trucks.
Side guards are a simple remedy for accidents involving cars that causes thousands of deaths. Manufacturers and trucking companies would be required to expend certain costs, but the benefits to others on the road should outweigh these expenses. Several agencies, including the IIHS, the National Transportation Safety Board and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, are advocating side guard requirements. The widespread adoption of these safety technologies could prevent truck accidents that result in death or serious injuries.
Individuals who have been injured in semi-truck accidents might want to schedule a meeting with a lawyer. An attorney who practices personal injury law might help by gathering police reports, medical records and other evidence in order to build a case for trial. A lawyer might negotiate a settlement with truckers, trucking companies or insurers, and he or she might also draft and file a complaint for damages in civil court.