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Do side guards help during truck accidents?

Currently, federal law requires large trucks to have underride guards on the rear of their vehicles. These guards help to stop underride accidents where a smaller vehicle slips under the rear of the truck. 

Some experts are now pushing for federal regulations requiring underride guards on the sides of large trucks as well, according to Forbes. 

The reasoning

Rear underride guards are a proven way to stop deadly rear-end collisions involving large trucks and smaller vehicles. When a smaller vehicle hits a large truck that does not have a guard, the small vehicle will almost always slide under the truck, which takes the top off the vehicle. This leads to deadly decapitation injuries. 

Since rear guards work so well, experts claim side guards can do the same for side-impact accidents where vehicle slide under the side of the truck. 

The issues

Federal lawmakers are hesitant to require side guards. One reason is that check son rear guards show that while they can be effective that in many cases they are not because these guards do not meet regulatory requirements for strength. The same is likely to happen with side guards. 

Also, the studies are not as strong for side guards, but the opposition is. Trucking companies say the expense of adding these guards to trucks would be astronomical, especially if they must use certain materials to be in compliance. A rear guard required just one addition while side guards would need to be on both sides of the truck. The cost alone is enough to make those in the trucking industry quite vocal about their opposition.