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Tougher Regulations for Underride Guards Could be on the Way

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Underride crashes, likely some of the most fatal accidents of all types on today’s highways, are when a vehicle collides with a semi-truck and gets lodged underneath. Two mothers who have lost daughters to truck underride collisions are working to raise awareness about this issue.


Truck underrides are the bars on the back of semi-trucks that act as barriers designed to keep you from sliding underneath. But this safety feature may not be enough to keep drivers safe in the event of an accident. Most underrides, which are required by federal law, are not strong enough to prevent serious injuries or death, even at low speeds. Many of the underride guards on vehicles today are weak and easily crumble on impact.


Two mothers, Marianne Karth and Lois Durso, have lost daughters when underride guards failed on trucks they hit in an accident. Karth lost 2 teenage daughters, AnnaLeah and Mary, who were on their way to a wedding when they fatally collided with an 18 wheeler. Durso’s 26 year old daughter, Roya, was driving in a snow storm when her car skidded out of control and slid under the side of a truck trailer. Roya was killed instantly.


Neither mother had ever heard of guard underrides before their daughters were so suddenly killed. After researching the issue, they believe that stronger underrides may have saved their daughters’ lives. They are working with the Truck Safety Coalition to push the federal government and manufacturers to adopt tougher standards when it comes to underride guards.


Nothing will bring their daughters back, but they are trying to raise awareness of the problem, and do whatever they can to prevent other families from having to face the loss of loved ones. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says tougher regulations for underride guards could be on the way. The trucking industry says that many manufacturers are already voluntarily building stronger guards.


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Kyle Mitchell
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