On June 29, 1967, Jayne Mansfield – the platinum blonde bombshell and movie star – was traveling through Louisiana with her attorney and her three children. Just as the tractor trailer ahead of them hit a machine emitting a thick cloud of mosquito spray, Mansfield’s vehicle hit the rear of the truck and became lodged beneath it, killing Mansfield, the attorney, and the car’s driver, and injuring the three children in the back seat.
The horrific accident sparked the call for rear and side protection on tractor trailers, but it wasn’t until more than 30 years later that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) mandated rear guards on trailers. The guards are known as Mansfield bars. However, to this day there is no requirement for side protection on tractor trailers in the United States.
Each year more than 200 people are killed when a car crashes into the side of a tractor trailer. Such a crash may cause a vehicle’s top to be sheared off and will render many of the car’s safety features useless. Even though the National Transportation Safety Board has recommended side guards on tractor trailers to prevent deaths, key lawmakers have not pushed for it – even though trucking manufacturers and those in the federal government are fully aware of the dangers of truck accidents of this kind.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, please call the New Jersey truck accident lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP at 732-777-0100 or contact us online for a free consultation. Our offices are centrally located in Edison, Red Bank, and Toms River, and we serve clients throughout New Jersey.