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The benefit of truck side underride guards

On Behalf of | Apr 11, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Thousands of trucks travel the highways and roads of Idaho each year, contributing to a large percentage of auto accidents in the state. While these trucks are vital to the commerce and industry that make Idaho productive, they also pose unique risks to other drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.

Improving safety for trucks and reducing vehicular accidents involving trucks has the potential to save lives and prevent serious injuries. One way to do so is to require trucks to install side underride guards.

What are side underride guards?

A semi-truck is raised higher than most passenger vehicles, and the underside of the trailer can fit many cars’ lower halves underneath it. As a result, an auto accident involving a truck can result in a vehicle sliding beneath the trailer, shearing off the top half of that vehicle and frequently causing grievous injury to occupants of that car.

Side underride guards extend a protective barrier on the sides of the truck’s trailer, dropping below the gap between the bottom of the trailer and the road surface. Unless a vehicle is traveling at extreme speeds, the side underride guard will prevent that vehicle from driving or sliding beneath the truck’s trailer.

The benefits of side underride guards

Some may protest the idea of requiring trucks to install side underride guards given the additional cost to truck drivers and businesses. But the benefits make such expense worthwhile.

That’s because accidents in which a vehicle, cyclist or pedestrian goes beneath a truck’s trailer are particularly deadly. The incidence of severe injury or death is significantly higher than for most other types of accidents. As a result, the human cost in lives saved outweighs the financial cost of requiring an additional piece of equipment installed on trucks.

Truck-side underride guards protect against accidents in which other vehicles pass beneath a truck’s trailer. Given that these accidents tend to result in tragic outcomes, these protective items could boost public safety and make the roads less hazardous.