Some big rig under-ride guards are not effective in certain kinds of crashes

Big rigs have under-ride guards to prevent cars from sliding under them during a crash. Some guards are ineffective.

If you travel on the highways a fair amount, you may find yourself involved in a collision with a semi-truck. It could happen in the blink of an eye, during a moment of inattention or as a result of road conditions. No matter what the cause, if you slam into the rear end of a big rig, the consequences may be deadly.

In the hopes of reducing deaths as a result of vehicles sliding under 18-wheelers, the trucking industry created and installed under-ride guards at the back of their trucks. The idea is to stop a car going under the backend of the truck. A vehicle that slams into the rear of a big rig is typically truncated from front to back, at the level of the windshield. This usually results in decapitation for the driver and other passengers.

Whether driver and passenger safety can be improved with the use of under-ride guards seems to be debatable, largely depending on what type of guard is in place. Not all under-ride guards are created equal. The guards, located below the rear doors of the truck, should stop a vehicle from getting wedged under the trailer. However, according to a report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the guards currently in use may not be that effective.

The agency tested a variety of under-ride guards and discovered that if a crash resulted in a vehicle running directly into the back of the truck, meaning dead center, the guards worked relatively well. However, if the vehicle did not slam into the truck in the middle of the doors, meaning the truck was hit at a different angle, the guards were not effective, thus resulting in serious injuries for vehicle passengers.

No matter how your accident with a semi happened, any injuries you sustained may not be evident until later. Do not sign off on any documents, give interviews to insurance agents or insurance company lawyers, and do not sign any papers settling your case until you speak to an experienced and knowledgeable truck injury lawyer. If you need compensation to pay medical bills and so forth, you need an injury lawyer to help you get your case to court or settlement.