What Is a Truck Underride Accident?
A truck underride accident is devastating and can result in horrible deaths.
An underride accident occurs when a smaller vehicle crashes into the side or back of a tractor-trailer and slides underneath. These types of truck crashes are among the most fatal accidents on the road, and each year more than 300 people are killed in underride accidents in the U.S.
When a car slides or crashes underneath a tractor-trailer, often the top of the car is completely sheared off. These types of accidents almost always result in severe injuries and fatalities.
There are 2 types of truck underride accidents:
- Side underride collisions - these usually occur when a truck driver is crossing or turning onto a street or is making a U-turn. On-coming drivers in other vehicles may not see the truck crossing their paths. Truck visibility is very important and most of these underride accidents happen at night. Sometimes other drivers wrongly assume that the truck is moving faster than it is and will clear the roadway in time.
- Rear underride collisions - a passenger vehicle may slam right under the rear of a truck or semi-trailer. Causes include trucks with poor markings or trucks that are moving slowly or parked at the side of the road. Other drivers can be startled by how slowly the truck is moving especially on a highway.
Weather conditions can also play a part in underride accidents as cars that spin out of control on slippery or snowy roads may slide right under a tractor trailer.Rear Guards Are Required But Not Side Guards
Guards added to the rear of a trailer have been mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) since 1998. Studies show that having strong underride guards on the rears of semis are effective in preventing a car from sliding underneath when colliding with the rear of the truck.
However, many of the rear guards are aging and not as strong as when installed. They can fail in an accident instead of acting as a strong barrier to keep the smaller vehicle from going underneath the trailer.
As of yet there is no requirement for side guards on these large trailers. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which has the responsibility to investigate accidents, has recommended to the NHTSA that all new trailers have side guards installed.
Updating the standards for rear guards on tractor-trailers and instituting new rules for side guards can save lives and should be a priority for both legislatures and trucking manufacturers.Let Us Know If You Have Been Injured in a Truck Accident
If you or a family member has been injured in a truck underride accident or any other truck accident, or by any type of personal injury, please contact the Law Offices of Diana Santa Maria, P.A. immediately. Our experienced attorneys will fight for the compensation you deserve. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorneys Diana Santa Maria and Laura D. Dolin, personal injury attorneys in Fort Lauderdale, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at (954) 434-1077 or contact us via the website.