Mother Pushes for Higher Safety Standards in Tractor Trailers


WASHINGTON — A Tennessee mother is in D.C. this week pushing lawmakers to pass new safety standards for tractor trailers. 

Laurie Higginbotham went to Washington to inform lawmakers about a safety hazard that she said took her son’s life. 

“He was killed almost three years ago in what we call an underride trucking accident,” Higginbotham said. 

Michael Higginbotham was going around 30 mph when he hit a tractor trailer that was making an illegal u-turn. His mom said that the way the tractor trailer is built may have contributed to the severity of the crash.

“Because his bumper never came in contact with the truck or on the trailer of the truck, his airbags never deployed, the crumple zones don’t come into play,” Laurie Higginbotham said.

Higginbotham is in D.C. pushing legislation known as the ‘Under Act.’ She said it will prevent people from dying in accidents like the one that killed her son.

The legislation would force trailers to be manufactured with side safety panels called underrides, which Higginbotham said may help stop other accidents like the one that her son was in. 

But the Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association opposes the Under Act. Representatives from the association said the requirements would be difficult to implement, and could carry their own safety concerns because of the added weight to the trucks. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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