Understanding how side guards on trailers reduce fatal accidents

| Apr 20, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accident |

Louisiana deals with its fair share of tractor-trailer accidents each year. Some of the deadliest accidents are those where a vehicle runs into the side of the trailer, commonly referred to as a side collision. Many advocates who have lost loved ones due to these types of collisions have been spreading the message about a newer safety device that can help to minimize the amount of damage that happens due to these accidents.

What are side guards?

Side guards are physical structures attached to the underside of a trailer between both of its axles. Side guards are basically used to take up the space between these wheels to prevent a vehicle from fully going underneath the tractor trailer. In the event of a collision, the car’s front-end will smash into the side guard and typically slow the car down so that the cabin of the car does not make it underneath the rig itself. It’s thought that by installing side guards on all tractor trailers, the number of fatal side collision truck accidents that happen will be drastically reduced.

Why is the trucking industry fighting against these devices?

Side guards seem like a perfect solution to help reduce the number of fatalities that occur due to tractor-trailer accidents. However, the trucking industry has its concerns about installing side guards. First of all, side guards would be an extra expense for all trucking companies if they become mandatory. Second, side guards are heavy and could push existing trailers overweight, making them more dangerous to drive.

Trucking accidents are some of the most dangerous accidents that happen on the roadway. As experts continue to look at the causes of these accidents and necessary safety features, side guards are one of these safety features that they’re recommending. However, only time will tell if federal laws make side guards mandatory for all tractor trailers.