Due to the ever-increasing demand for goods, the nation's highways have seen an uptick in the numbers of tractor-trailers. As a result, the media regularly features stories of deadly crashes involving these vehicles. There are likely a number Connecticut families who have lost a loved one to these tragic crashes, some of whom may have filed a wrongful death claim thereafter.
A safety organization is pressing the issue of requiring side rails to be installed on trailers. It claims that the use of these guards has been proved in tests to prevent deaths to the passengers in smaller vehicles. The rails would be mounted in the gaps between the tires and are designed to prevent a smaller vehicle from traveling under the side of these trailers in the event of a side collision. These rails are already mandated by the government to be mounted on the rear of trailers.
However, representatives from the American Trucking Associations claim that this equipment is not a priority as there are other measures that may be more effective. Furthermore, the agency stated that the use of these rails may increase the danger posed by these trailers as the rails are heavy and would require a different construction which may be more prone to cracking. Instead, the agency wants to use other technology that may prevent a collision from occurring.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported more than 300 fatalities involving passenger cars in side collisions with tractor-trailers in 2015. It is unclear what actions the government may take in an effort to prevent more families from suffering the tragedy of losing a loved in in these devastating wrecks. Connecticut families who have endured the loss of a family member through the actions or negligence of another party do have the right to file a wrongful death civil suit. If successful, these suits may allow the grieving family to recover the financial losses sustained.
Source: ctpost.com, "Safety group says truck guard rails could prevent deaths", Dee-ann Durbin, May 10, 2017