Many truck accidents are so serious because of the size of a truck in relation to other vehicles. Rear underride accidents are quite common because a vehicle can easily fit underneath a truck and many accidents occur when a truck stops and the vehicle behind it does not stop in time. Because these accidents are so common, laws require trucks to have a bar on the back that will stop a vehicle before it can go under the truck.
There is now concern about side underride accidents. According to NBC News, many people believe that installing side under guards similar to those required on the back of a truck can help prevent these accidents. However, there is opposition to this idea.
The biggest reason advocates want the side guards is that they feel it could save hundreds of lives every year. Many crashes where a car goes under the truck from the side would not be deadly if there was a guard to prevent the car from going under the larger vehicle. When such an accident happens, it can take off the top of the car and often results in the rear tires running over the vehicle. It almost always results in the death of the passengers in the vehicle.
The opposition comes from the trucking industry, which claims installing these guards will cost too much money. Not only will the installation be a challenge, but it will increase the weight of the truck, meaning it will not be able to haul as much freight and use more fuel. Therefore, it creates multiple ways in which the industry will lose money.