Have you ever noticed the bars around the bottom of semi trucks? These bars are guards that keep cars from going under the truck in the event of a collision. Going under can result in the top of the car ripping off and the driver becoming decapitated. Too many trucks have either a weak or no ICC bar at all. If you have a loved one who has been seriously injured or killed in a collision with faulty or no ICC bars, you need to know what your legal options are.
ICC Guard Regulations
The ICC guard manufacturer has to install ICC bars to the rear of a semi-trailer. The guard has to be large enough so there is not more than 22 inches between the ground and the bumper. Once it is installed, the bumper has to contain the name and address of the manufacturer. The letters 'DOT' also need to be printed, which shows that all of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard regulations are met.
Problems with the regulations
One of the main issues is that the regulations are stated for the rear of the semi, not the sides. You'll see semi trucks driving all over the United States without guards on the sides. If you are involved in a side impact collision, there is nothing stopping your car from sliding right under the trailer. Not only that, some semis don't even have ICC bars on the back like they're supposed to and no one is enforcing the regulations.
Another issue with the regulations is that they haven't changed since 1998, while cars have changed drastically. As vehicles change shapes, materials, and sizes, the regulations on ICC bars need to change with them to keep people safe.
ABC News in Indiana is trying to take control of the situation. The investigators are pushing for a change by the Truck Safety Commission. They say that even when a truck is in regulation, the regulations simply are not strong enough. Cars push through the ICC guards and end in fatal crashes all too often. A former Indiana State Trooper named Joe Badger stated that most of the guards aren't strong enough to stop a moving vehicle. Just because a driver makes a mistake and crashes, doesn't mean they deserve to die. With the standards right now, that is exactly what is happening.
What to do if a loved one is killed or injured in a similar crash
Nothing is worse than when a loved in is killed and injured in a way that is completely preventable. If you have a loved one that has been killed in an accident involving a semi truck, there are several things you can do. First, you need to contact a lawyer that deals with personal injury and wrongful death, such as one from a firm like Hardee and Hardee LLP. Your lawyer will help you get a hold of the report on the semi truck.
The report will state if the ICC guards were in compliance with the regulations or not. This is important to determine who exactly you will be filing the lawsuit against. If the semi was not in regulation, you will likely be suing the company that the driver worked for. It is the company's job to ensure that their trucks pass all regulations before going out on the road. If the truck was following regulations, your lawyer may opt to go after the National Highway Safety Administration for not providing standards that keep the public safe.
ICC guards are a serious problem. Not only do better safety standards need to be implemented, but semi trucks need to stop getting away with not abiding by them. The safety of drivers depends on it. Call a lawyer immediately if you have been affected by faulty or non-existent ICC guards.Share
2 April 2015
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