Calls for Bus Under Ride Guards Grow Louder

by P. Brian Berryman on 11/19/2012

When a passenger vehicle hits the rear of a tractor-trailer, the under ride guard of the truck prevents the smaller passenger vehicle from becoming wedged underneath the truck, causing serious injuries or fatalities among the occupants of the smaller car.  However, when the same passenger vehicle strikes a bus, there's often nothing preventing the car from being wedged underneath the bus.  That is because buses are not required to come with under ride guards.

San Antonio bus accident lawyers believe that that could soon change, however, as calls for the installation of under ride guards for all buses, including school buses, grow louder.

When a passenger vehicle crashes into the rear of a much bigger vehicle like a truck or bus, the risk of injuries for occupants of the passenger vehicle is much greater than if the car is involved in a regular, frontal impact accident.  That's because, in a frontal impact accident, the front-end is designed to absorb much of the impact, thereby protecting occupants against severe injuries. 

However, when the same car hits the back of a truck or a bus, the entire front portion of the car is wedged under the bus, and the windshield of the smaller vehicle sustains much of the impact.  That immediately increases the risk for passengers and motorists inside the car. 

According to the Insurance Industry for Highway Safety, every year, approximately 400 people are killed in rear-ender accidents involving a passenger vehicle and a bus or truck. 

Scientists at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute have been raising calls for a mandate that would require installation of under ride guards for all buses, especially school buses.  They believe it is especially important that school buses have these under ride guards, because school buses have very high bumpers, and so many school buses do not have these guards.

Tags: Bus Accidents

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