Terrible Accident May Lead To New Safety Features For Tractor-Trailers
Accidents which involve 18-wheelers or big rigs and smaller passenger vehicles often can end in tragedy. One family faced an almost unthinkable tragedy of losing two teenage girls as they were traveling to the wedding of their older sister five years ago. In spite of such terrible loss, the family hopes to change the law to make the road safer for everyone.
In an article appearing on the Dallas-Fort Worth CBS local station website, the Karth family recounted the day that they lost AnnaLeah, 17, and Mary, 13, as they were headed to were headed to Arlington from North Carolina to be at their elder sister Rebekah’s wedding.
The two teenage girls were riding in the back of their mother’s SUV when the vehicle was struck from behind by an 18-wheeler that had swerved into them. The impact caused the smaller vehicle to spin into the truck’s path, forcing it backward and underneath a second big rig.
AnnaLeah was killed instantly, while Mary hung on to life for a few more days before dying as the result of the injuries she received in the accident.
In the US, the Karth’s found, tractor trailers are required to have a rearguard in order to protect smaller vehicles from underride crashes In the case of the Karth’s tragedy, this failed to happen because the vehicle went under the center of the trailer, shearing off the windshield and roof of the SUV.
The Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute have both insisted on tougher standards for rear impact guards to further prevent accidents like the one that took the life of the Karth’s teen daughters. The two agencies estimate that such improved safety measures would likely prevent hundreds of deaths annually.
Some who face tragedy rise up for the greater good and the safety of everyone. This is exactly what the Karth family has done. Marianne Karth, who had been driving when the accident happened, has pushed for legislation that would make these improved measures the law of the land. Marianne Karth’s push for improved rear and side guards on big rigs has received bipartisan support in both the House of Representatives and in the Senate in support of the bill. The bill was introduced in December of 2016. The measure is currently awaiting a vote.