Current safety regulations require 18-wheelers and other big trucks to have rear safety guards to prevent automobiles from sliding underneath the back of the trailer. However, there is no regulation forcing truck manufacturers to install side guards that could prevent these horrific accidents.
The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended side guards for 18-wheelers and other commercial vehicles. However, no safety regulation has been implemented by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or Congress. It is unlikely the trucking industry will take steps on their own to prevent these types of crashes until regulations are implanted and enforced.
What can you do to stay safe on the road?
An accident happens in a matter of seconds. While you cannot be fully prepared for a crash, you can take steps to stay safe on the road. Some general safe driving tips to consider include:
- Keep your eyes on the road
- Do not use your cellphone when behind the wheel
- Do not eat or drink while driving if possible
- Set your music and heat settings before you start driving
- Focus on driving and reduce distractions from passengers
It is important to be aware of the blind spots when driving near a big rig - or near any other vehicle. Maintain a safe distance and always use your signals when changing lanes. During bad weather, use extra caution due to reduced visibility and slick roads.
These tips can help you stay safe on the road. However, they may not always prevent a crash. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident with an 18-wheeler, it is important to talk to a personal injury attorney right away.