Will the FMCSA Require Inspections of Underride Guards?

Underride guards are those bars at the rear of commercial semi-trucks that are sometimes called Mansfield bars, and they’re there to help prevent other vehicles from driving directly under the truck’s carriage in the event of a rear-end accident. These rear bars have been mandatory for decades, but they are not included in the list of annual points of inspection for commercial vehicles – and advocacy groups take issue with this fact. If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck underride accident – or any kind of truck accident caused by someone else’s negligence – it’s time to consult with an experienced Tampa truck accident attorney.

Addition to Annual Inspection Proposed

According to Truckinginfo, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has proposed that these underride bars be included on the list of required inspection points for commercial trucks. While the bars are a required safety feature of commercial trucks, there is little stopping a commercial truck with a damaged, broken, or missing bar from passing its annual inspection. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance is petitioning for the change, and they note that, while these rear-end protections are routinely inspected as part of the North American Standard Inspection Program, most commercial trucks simply don’t cross paths with these inspectors on a yearly basis.

Truck Accidents

The massive semis with which we share our roads are so immensely heavy that truck accidents tend to be exceptionally dangerous (especially for the occupants of the other vehicles involved). Statistics from FMCSA illustrate this, including:

  • In 2018, there were more than 5,000 truck accidents, which is a one percent increase over 2017.
  • From 2009 to 2018, there was a 45 percent increase in fatal truck accidents.
  • From 2016 to 2018, injury-causing truck accidents increased by eight percent.

The Impact of Underrides

Every truck accident is a serious accident, but when the other vehicle involved pushes through the rear of the semi and underneath its trailer, the resulting damage tends to be astronomical. Often, the top of the under-riding vehicle is sheared off, and when there are survivors, they typically sustain catastrophic injuries that haunt them into the future – with significant financial, physical, and emotional damages. These can include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
  • Broken bones
  • Amputations
  • Life-threatening burns
  • Disfigurement

With so much at stake, many are looking for enhanced safety requirements, including a requirement for the annual inspection of underride bars.

Reach out to an Experienced Tampa Truck Accident Attorney Today

Truck accidents are among the most violent and deadly accidents on our roadways. If a negligent truck driver and/or trucking company leaves you or someone you love injured (or worse), the dedicated truck accident attorneys at Tragos, Sartes & Tragos in Tampa are committed to skillfully advocating on behalf of your best interests and for your case’s most favorable resolution. We’re here to help you, so please do not hesitate to contact us online or call us at 813-223-6405 for more information today.