New York Senator Chuck Schumer has issued a statement calling for immediate federal action to require “energy absorbing underride guards” on all semi trucks following a crash that happened on I-81 earlier this month that left four people dead.
Quadruple Fatality Crash Prompts Senator To Call For Quick Federal Action
Schumer’s call to action was prompted by a July 5 crash that began when a milk tanker driver says that he swerved to avoid several deer. The tanker jackknifed across the northbound lanes of I-81. Two passenger vehicles crashed under the jackknifed tanker, killing three people in one car and one person in the other. You can read more about the crash here.
The fatal crash prompted Schumer to ask the federal government to make three changes that he says will improve safety:
Update the truck rear underride guard standard. The current standards for rear underride guards are outdated and do not work as effectively with modern vehicles now equipped with crumple zones and airbag deployment sensors.
Require trucks be equipped with side underride guards. Side underride guards are currently not required on trucks, but research has demonstrated considerable driver and passenger safety improvements with their addition
Study truck front underride guards. Research should be conducted to establish the most effective approach front underride guard standards.
According to Schumer, “Drivers and passengers in this most recent crash could have been better protected if the truck was equipped with side underride guards. The devastation of crashes like these – a result of a gap in truck safety standards – could be reduced. The reality is installing underride guards on trucks can save lives, which is why I am calling on the federal government to immediately develop new safety standards for trucks. We need to make sure we’re doing everything possible to make our roads as safe as possible.”
Schumer has promised to “explore action and legislation” to move federal agencies to act.