Semi-trucks, tractor trailers, and other big rigs have long been the cause of many serious auto accidents on the roads of Ohio. Now, a state senator is working to reduce the number of truck accidents by targeting a specific safety measure with demonstrable effects at reducing truck accident fatalities. When Akron truck accidents do occur, injury victims have the right to seek compensation by filing a legal claim. The legal claims process can be overwhelming. An Akron truck accident attorney can help guide injury victims through the process and protect their legal rights during insurance negotiations, litigation and appeals.
How Truck Side Guards Protect Pedestrians and Bicyclists
According to Freight Waves, Ohio State Senator Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights) introduced legislation to require certain classes of commercial trucks operating in Ohio to have side guards installed. These guards protect other road users during side impact collisions. Side impact collisions are a major source of injury for pedestrians and bicyclists. The United States Department of Transportation reports that nearly half of all bicyclists and one in four pedestrians killed by large trucks are first impacted by the side of the truck.
Side guards have been proven to reduce the number of side impact truck collisions that result in fatalities. Senator Yuko reports that the United Kingdom has seen a 61 percent drop in bicyclist fatalities and a 20 percent decrease in pedestrian fatalities since it required the installation of truck side guards in 1986. Such efforts have also spread to the United States, where cities such as Boston and New York have required side guards on trucks owned by the city. By requiring similar safety measures in Ohio, the roads of Akron could be made safer for all road users who face the risk of a side impact collision with a large truck.
Side guards have also been a matter of national legislative interest. Truckinginfo reports that several members of Congress introduced the Stop Underrides Act of 2017. The proposed bill would require both front and side guards and would update and improve legal requirements for rear guards. Surprisingly, this bill has received bipartisan support. In the political climate of 2017, it is encouraging to see members of both parties working together on important issues of traffic safety.
How Akron Road Users Can Stay Safe Around Trucks
With or without side guard legislation, truck accidents can still occur on the roads of Akron. Drivers can best prevent accidents by slowing down to allow themselves plenty of time to respond to unexpected movements by nearby trucks. Drivers should also use particular caution when passing large trucks and allow plenty of space in which to safely pass. It may also be necessary to use headlights or a horn to alert a truck driver to your presence while you are passing. Trucks offer limited visibility, which can make it difficult for truck drivers to see other nearby vehicles. When truck accidents do occur, consult with an Akron truck accident attorney in order to best protect your legal rights in the confusing aftermath.