Truck Underride Accidents
Of all the safety features that have been built into vehicles, there is no feature on your vehicle that will protect you if you ride under the carriage of a truck except the windshield. These types of collisions are the deadliest and possibly the most horrifying. It’s difficult to consider that about one-quarter of all fatalities from truck involved collisions are were killed on either side or rear underride collisions.
In a side underride accident, a vehicle literally drives under the side of a tractor-trailer, usually sheering off the top of their vehicle, and killing their passengers. The ideal conditions for this type of accident are driving during sunset or at night on any road where a truck is turning onto or cross a highway or street, is making a U-turn, or is backing across traffic. It’s that simple. While a truck driver may assume that they are visible, in actuality, you may not even see them, let alone have time to react, before impact.
In a rear underride collision, a vehicle drives under the back of a big rig. Generally, this accident type also occurs in low-light settings when a rig is entering a roadway or slowing for a railroad crossing or to take an exit and a passenger vehicle is closing in on them at the posted 70 mph, for example, and either doesn’t see the truck or misjudges how fast they are approaching.
The difference between these two accidents types is something called a Mansfield bar that runs along the back of the truck. This bar is designed to prevent a vehicle from traveling enough under the trailer to sheer the top of the vehicle past the driver’s seat. The side of the trailer doesn’t have such a bar. Instead, all trailers are required to have markings to increase conspicuity. This is usually accomplished with standardized retroreflective tape placed along the base of all trailers.
Better Safety Measures are Needed
Unfortunately, some of these guards have been found to fail even at low speeds, and the trailer reflective tape fails when it’s worn or dirty or if the trailer is at an angle to traffic. Safety experts are pushing for better measures, but until then, these vehicles present a risk to everyone who shares the road with them.
If you were injured or a loved one fatally injured in an underride accident you may be eligible for compensation if the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence. Call us today to learn if injury compensation may be available to you.