angel wing

In 2015, 301 of the 1,542 passenger vehicle occupants killed in two-vehicle crashes with a tractor-trailer died when their vehicles struck the side of a tractor-trailer.” The government should require all semi-trucks to have a side guardrail that could prevent cars from traveling beneath the truck on impact. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), side guards could prevent hundreds of traffic deaths per year. The IIHS tested side skirts and guardrails on tractor-trailers to see which would prevent a vehicle from sliding beneath the trailer during a collision. These tests proved that without the guardrail the colliding vehicle would crash into the trailer and the impact would pull off part of the roof and the passengers would likely suffer fatal injuries–potentially decapitating the passengers inside.

Federal law requires semi-trucks to have a rear underride guard to prevent cars from crashing into the back of the trailer and sliding beneath the trailer. The ‘AngelWing’, a steel rail covered with fiberglass that is attached on the sides of a trailer, was created and tested by a Quebec-based Company called Airflow Deflector Inc. The IIHS proceeded to test this new safety feature on semi-trucks. They found that if a vehicle was traveling at 35 miles per hour and collided with the side of the truck, the front of the car would be damaged but not fully slide beneath the trailer. The ‘AngelWing’ deflected the impact. The executive vice president of the IIHS stated, “Our tests and research show that side underride guards have the potential to save lives.” What will it take to require the ‘AngelWing’ on all semi-trucks?

Every 16 minutes in the U.S., a person is injured or killed in an auto accident involving a large commercial truck – also known as tractor-trailers, big-rigs, 18-wheelers or semi-trucks. When accidents involving tractor-trailers occur, the commercial insurance companies are quick to send representatives to the scene in an attempt to mitigate responsibility. This is when tractor trailer injury victims are most vulnerable. Contact an experienced tractor-trailer accident lawyer immediately. Our team of experienced trial lawyers will work quickly to preserve evidence, gather witness statements and protect your rights. At Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, you will be able to get the compensation you deserve.

Photo: IIHS.org

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