We have more in common with our neighbors to the North than we realize. But one area in which Canadians have far eclipsed Americans in highway safety is by implementing far more stringent standards for semitrucks’ trailer underride guards.
These guards mandated by government regulations did not come without a fight. Safety advocates finally prevailed in requiring the guards as preventive measures against some of the most horrific types of highway carnage there can be.
So, why are Canada’s underride guards far superior?
They built a better, sturdier model that absorbs roughly four times the impact of collision energy than the protective barriers marketed and sold to U.S. truckers and trucking company owners. The costs are a little higher for the Canadian version — $500 versus $229.
But even given the safer outcomes with the more expensive Canadian options, some industry insiders push for even stricter voluntary compliance. The goal of safety advocates is the installation of ToughGuard standards for trailer-underride guards. These will better absorb crash energy and keep occupants safer, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) claims.
Trucking accidents destroy lives
In a semitruck collision with a passenger vehicle, it often is fatal for some or even all of the occupants of the much smaller auto. Given that and the great disparity between the weight and size of the two vehicles, it would seem like the trucking industry would embrace these safety measures that can protect vulnerable lives.
Some trucking companies try to wiggle out of any liability loopholes they can employ to avoid paying out claims. If it’s not quickly settled, you may need to file a petition for damages to keep your case from proscribing.