Anyone who has driven on an Interstate highway has undoubtedly wondered about the horizontal bar on the rear of semi-trailer trucks. Why is it there? What does it do? The bars are called underride protectors or rear guards, and they are supposed to prevent passenger vehicles from sliding under the truck in the event of a rear-end collision. As a recent accident in Charlotte demonstrates, they do not always fulfill their function.
Churches in North Carolina often use vans to transport parishioners, youth groups and church staff to activities at other churches and religious organizations. Such trips are generally safe for all concerned, but occasionally, other drivers create unexpected hazards. On May 28, a church-owned van was carrying a number of parishioners to a revival meeting at another church. The van was turning into the church drive way when a Ford F-450 truck rear-ended it. The results of the collision were calamitous.