For those that have never had to worry about truck accident injuries before, the term "underride crash" may be a bit foreign. Underride crashes, however, are one of the most catastrophic types of truck wrecks and knowing the basics can be crucial to a person's survival on the road.
What is an Underride Accident?
An underride accident occurs when part of a passenger vehicle becomes wedged under the trailer or bed of a semi-truck, on any side of the truck. Some cars will only slide under the truck a little bit, but if the angle is right and the speed is high, other cars can be completely smashed under the big rig. In an underride crash, it is not unheard of for the top of a car to be completely ripped off, resulting in usually fatal injuries to the vehicle's occupants.
Avoiding an underride accident is really done in the same way anyone would avoid any type of car or truck crash. Unfortunately, we all know that many people do not follow every basic safety rule and due to their negligence, crashes happen on a regular basis. Additionally, because of the large gap of space under a truck, there is a high probability that a smaller car can slide into that space in a wreck. There is, however, one major measure being taken to prevent underride crashes: safety guards.
Underride Guards Help Prevent Accidents
Safety guards, also known as underride guards, act as giant bumpers that close the gap between the bottom of the truck and the road. By sealing off that space, the chance of a car sliding under there greatly decreases. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted a series of crash tests and found that although underride guards are effective, they are still not that effective and could truly benefit from being built even larger and stronger. Because of the Insurance Institute's research, some manufacturers are being proactive and selling trailers that have bumpers that are much stronger than what has been recommended. Of course, for all of the people in the trucking industry who are trying to do the right thing, there are still individuals who are choosing to be lazy and negligent by refusing to ensure their safety guards meet the mandated guidelines.
Was someone you love killed in a semi-truck underride accident? Were you seriously injured? Call the Hart Law Firm for a completely free initial consultation by calling 817-380-4888.