Caution is always recommended when driving near tractor-trailers. Their sheer bulk makes them a major threat to everyone on the road, even when they are being guided by experienced and careful truck drivers. One of the most dangerous types of truck collisions is an under-ride crash. Learn more about this type of collision and what your options are.
Don’t wait to seek compensation if you’ve been hit by a commercial truck. There are lots of potentially liable parties, but you’ll need an attorney to find out what really happened and if you are owed compensation. Call Bailey Javins & Carter at 678-210-3292 to set up a consultation right now.
Why Are Undercarriage Accidents So Deadly?
When you look at the durability of a commercial truck, it’s easy to see why undercarriage accidents are so often fatal or severe. When a car drives behind a truck and fails to stop in time, the back end of the truck can crush the front of the car, leading the rest of the car to get stuck. When this happens, the driver can be crushed or they may be unable to get out from underneath the truck. This puts them at risk of additional collisions.
Underride accidents can also happen on the side of a truck. If a car drives into a truck’s side or a truck drifts into a car’s lane, the side of the vehicle can get crushed and stuck underneath the truck.
Not only is the force of the truck enough to kill a car’s inhabitants, but there are also other dangers as well. The crash may cause flying debris, which can easily strike and kill vehicle occupants. Additionally, if the crash damages any internal component of the truck, people in the other vehicle may be exposed to hazardous chemicals.
How Likely is an Underride Collision?
While it’s not much comfort, the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that underride accidents make up less than 1% of traffic fatalities. Even though these accidents aren’t common, they are frequent enough that the government has taken action to make drivers and passengers safer. Over a ten-year period, undercarriage accidents caused over 200 fatalities.
Safety Options for Drivers
Many underride accidents are preventable. A lot comes down to driver education and safe practices. For example, many personal drivers do not know just how large a truck’s blind spots are.
The blind spot can extend up to 20 feet in front of and behind a truck, as well as several feet to either side. By staying out of these blind spots, drivers can lower their risk of an undercarriage crash. Drivers can also slow down and allow trucks to pass, rather than speeding up and staying in their blind spot too long.
Drivers should also stay far back from trucks. This makes you more visible to the truck driver, and it also gives you plenty of time to stop if the truck comes to a halt. Some drivers tend to tailgate trucks, especially if they are driving within the speed limit. This is an incredibly dangerous maneuver.
Other efforts are underway. The NHTSA has considered tightening up its requirements for rear guards, which would keep cars from getting stuck underneath the back of a car. Some companies are also working on side underride guards, but that is largely stalled until further research is done on how this technology will affect truck safety. However, legislation may not be the answer.
Manufacturers have already started to respond to reports of undercarriage deaths, and the vast majority of newly manufactured tractor-trailers already have protective rear guards in place.
Victims of undercarriage collisions may be entitled to substantial compensation. These types of accidents can cause fatalities, severe traumatic brain injuries, amputations, and other serious injuries. It’s important to connect with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after a crash.
Start Your Truck Accident Claim with Bailey Javins & Carter
The sooner you start your personal injury claim after a truck accident, the more time your attorney has to build your case. The team at Bailey Javins & Carter is here to help you as you pursue compensation for a truck accident. Schedule your consultation right away by messaging us online or giving us a call at 678-210-3292.