Certain kinds of accidents are particularly devastating. For example, a roll-over accident is generally going to cause more human and property damage than a low-speed fender bender will. It is with a profound understanding of the damage capacity of certain kinds of truck accidents that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has become invested in prevention of underride crashes. Because in focusing on these particularly devastating crashes, the NHTSA hopes that it will save a substantial number of lives.
An underride crash generally occurs when a small car collides with the back of a large truck and slides partially underneath the body of that truck. These crashes can lead to devastating injuries and fatalities from decapitation and generally severe impact. In addition, it is particularly difficult for first responders to extract victims from these kinds of crashes in time to administer life-saving care.
The NHTSA has therefore begun focusing substantial time and resources to upgrading underride safety standards. It recently completed a field-based study on the subject and released a report based on its findings. This study is being used as evidentiary support for alterations to existing underride safety regulations. The NHTSA worked with industry experts to examine all factors that contribute to the particularly devastating nature of these crashes.
By better understanding the problem at hand, the NHTSA has empowered itself to ultimately prevent more of these kinds of accidents. When the standards are altered and motor vehicle manufacturers respond accordingly, fewer Americans will die on the nation’s highways as a result of underride accidents.
Source: The Indy Channel, “Underride guards statements from NHTSA, trucking associations” April 2013