Horrific in nature and the cause of many fatalities every year, underride collisions occur when a passenger vehicle crashes into the trailer of a truck. Since the bottom of the average trailer matches the height of the windshield of the average passenger vehicle, underride collisions often result in the total destruction of the top half of the smaller vehicle, causing severe and/or fatal injuries to the passengers. Generally, those lucky enough to survive such an incident don’t walk away the same; life-long debilitation is to be expected.
If you or someone you love has suffered great losses in an underride collision, you should get in touch with a Louisville, KY underride collisions lawyer at Thomas Law Offices. Whether you’re filing a personal injury claim or a wrongful death claim, we can provide you with reliable guidance throughout the legal process so you can get the compensation you need in a timely fashion. Call us today at our toll-free number (877) 955-7001.
Primary Contributory Factors behind Underride Collisions
Underride collisions are often the fault of negligent truckers and trucking companies. They result from failure to adhere to certain standards of care. The primary contributory factors behind underride collisions include the following:
- Not properly employing reflective triangles when the truck is stopped or has broken down on the road.
- Not turning on emergency flashers when the truck is moving extremely slow relative to traffic.
- Leaving the taillights dim, dirty, or broken, making it more likely that a driver behind the truck will not see it.
- Not using adequate side safety lighting when turning or obstructing a lane of traffic.
Side underride collisions usually occur at night and hours during which the sun is low, and when the trucker is attempting to cross or turn onto a highway or street, make a U-turn, or back across traffic. Rear underride collisions usually occur when the trucker is stopped on the side of the road or slowing considerably.
The Need for Improved Underride Guards
In response to the dangers of underride collisions, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to implement better underride guard regulations for the purposes of reducing the fatality rate in such accidents. An underride guard is a bar of steel attached to the front, side, and/or rear of a large truck that serves to prevent smaller vehicles from passing beneath the truck in a collision. Current underride guards have a high failure rate, even at speeds as low as 35 miles per hour. The IIHS is demanding the NHTSA to enforce better guard system testing, improved guard durability, and stricter underride requirements. Hopefully, the NHTSA acknowledge these demands soon since hundreds of people are still dying every year due to underride collisions.
A Compassionate Kentucky Truck Accident Attorney
Attorney Tad Thomas is a top rated, nationally recognized figure in the legal field that devotes all of his efforts to serving the needs of victims and helping them fight against big insurance companies and other powerful entities. Contact his office today and get the legal guidance you need to attain justice.