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Truck Underride Collisions & Truck Underride Act of 2017

An overview of what you need to know about truck underride collisions.

Truck underride accidents are some of the most horrific car accidents that can end up causing devastating injuries and death. An underride truck accident occurs when a smaller vehicle collides into the back or side of a commercial tractor trailer and ends up sliding underneath. Underride accidents are considered to be among the most fatal roadway accidents, attributing to more than 300 yearly deaths in the United States.

What’s so scary about underride collisions is that it’s very common for the roof of a car to be completely sheared off when it slides underneath a tractor trailer. Our team of MD truck Accident Attorneys is here to support you and your family after these horrific types of collisions, and we understand that your legal strategies aren’t something you’d want to worry about when recovering from a serious injury or wrongful death in the family.

On this page we’re going to discuss the types of underride collisions and the Truck Underride Act of 2017 so you can have a better understanding of the regulations involved within the commercial trucking industry, and why these regulations are so important for all of our safety.

If you or a loved one was unfortunately involved in a truck underride collision, then you’re going to need legal assistance right away. Contact us today for a free consultation so we can go over the details of the accident and begin the necessary steps towards developing a successful legal strategy.

Types of Truck Underride Accidents

There are 2 types of truck underride accidents, including:

  • Side underride accidents — this type of accident typically occurs when a truck driver ends up making a rather sharp turn onto a street, or is making a U-turn. There are instances in which on-coming drivers simply don’t notice the truck coming within their path, which is why truck visibility is so important. It’s not a coincidence that most of these accidents occur during the evening and night hours, but many times these accidents aren’t necessarily the truck driver’s fault. There are situations in which drivers simply assume that a truck is moving faster than it actually is, which ends up being an extremely costly error.
  • Rear underride accidents — This type of accident occurs when a vehicle ends up rear-ending a tractor trailer, which then potentially causes devastating damage. Some of the common causes of these accidents include poorly marked trucks, trucks moving very slowly on high-speed roadways, and sometimes it occurs even when trucks are parked on the side of a road. Many times drivers are simply startled by how slowly truck drivers move on highways, and they aren’t prepared to stop in time.

Weather conditions are also a major underlying factor that leads up to many underride accidents. When cars spin out of control due to slippery road conditions they can end up sliding under a nearby commercial truck.

Side Guards Aren’t Required

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has conducted tests that show the benefit of side underride guards, but lawmakers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) still haven’t fully committed to requiring side guards on commercial tractor trailers. However, rear guards have been mandated since 1998.

The Stop Underrides Act of 2017 was a proposed bill that established the requirement for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to issue a rule that enforces the implementation and maintenance of both rear and side underride guards for all commercial tractor trailers. The proposed law also states the necessity for a study oriented around front underride guards that will help prevent trucks from overriding passenger vehicles.

The bill also requires pre-trip and post-accident inspections by commercial vehicle drivers and their respective companies.

As of today there still are not requirements for side guards on commercial tractor trailers, but the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has made official recommendations that every new trailer have side guards installed. What’s strange about this issue is that the proposed bill has been criticized by the American Trucking Association (ATA) and throughout the trucking industry for ignoring potential technical issues.

What’s important about this incredibly vital roadway safety issue is that there’s a real necessity to update the overall standards of rear guards for all commercial vehicles, and there also needs to be legitimate rules for side guards that can save countless lives.

Lawmakers have been working to make side guards a priority for trucking manufacturers even before they can officially turn this requirement into legislation, but for now the safety of our roadways is still in jeopardy.

Contact Our Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys Today

If you or a loved one was involved in a truck underride accident or any kind of truck accident, reach out to us for a free consultation so we can go over the details of your case and begin the initial steps towards securing justice for you and your family. Our attorneys are here to help you fight for your rightful compensation, and our team of Silver Spring, Bowie, College Park, Landover and Upper Marlboro Injury & Accident Attorneys have the experience to provide you with the very best results possible after such a traumatizing roadway experience.