Cab guards or headache racks are required as front-end structures on 18-wheelers that pull flat beds, trailers and log trailers and should function to prevent shifting cargo from contacting the cab of heavy trucks. Many cab guards are designed of welded heat-treated aluminum which results in a weakening of the cab guard over time. The weakening of the cab guard due to fatigue stress is relatively unknown to drivers. Many welding requirements established by national organizations are not followed by cab guard manufacturers. The failure to follow such guidelines result in poor welds, poor quality control, and poorly designed cab guards for their intended purpose of protecting truck occupants.
An under ride protection device extends below the trailer in order to prevent an automobile from riding under the trailer in the event of a rear impact. Many heavy trucks and/or trailers are defectively designed in that the vehicles do not have proper under ride protection devices. When a vehicle is allowed to under ride a heavy truck trailer, it results in severe injuries to vehicle occupants since passenger cars are substantially lower than the bed of heavy truck trailers. When appropriate under ride guards are in place, vehicles are prevented from under riding these trailers and severe injuries that occur in foreseeable rear end collisions are substantially reduced.
Our firm is currently working on a defective cab guard case. In that case, Price v. Merritt, Mr. Price was operating his 18-wheeler when a vehicle forced him off the road. His cargo of logs shifted forward impacting his cab guard or headache rack. The heat-treated aluminum cab guard failed, allowing the cargo to crush Mr. Price’s cab. Cab guards made of light weight aluminum are designed to meet federal standards but they are not designed to withstand moving cargo. The cab guards falsely include warning labels that claim the cab guard is designed to stop cargo weighing approximately 40,000 lbs. Cab guards made of steel are a safer alternative design. Steel is not brittle and will bend instead of failing during a severe impact.
If you would like more information regarding cab guards or under ride protection, please contact Cole Portis or Kendall Dunson at 800-898-2034 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kendall.email@example.com.
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