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What You Need to Know About Truck Underride Crashes

Truck underride crashes and collisions are very dangerous for passenger vehicle occupants. If the back of a tractor-trailer or large truck is outfitted with a weak underride guard or no guard, the passenger vehicle can become lodged under the rear of the truck and the outcome can often be deadly to a driver and passengers in the car.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the danger of truck underride crashes and is looking to upgrade the requirements for rear impact guards on trucks. They are also looking for measures to make trucks more visible to others on the road to help reduce the number of injuries and fatalities from underride crashes. The Department of Transportation (DOT) safety standards require rear-impact guards on full trailers and semi-trailers that weigh more than 10,000 pounds and were manufactured on or after January 1998. They are hoping to expand those regulations to include single unit trucks as well.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety  (IIHS) estimates that about 1 in 10 highway deaths occurs in a crash involving a large truck. Testing performed by IIHS found that guards meeting federal safety standards could fail in relatively low-speed crashes. They also found that on many trailers, only a portion of the truck’s rear is actually protected. The IIHS petitioned federal regulators to require stronger underride guards and to broaden the rules to mandate guards for more large trucks and trailers.

Rear & Side Truck Underride Crashes

The two types of truck underride crashes are read and side. A rear happens when a vehicle collides with the back of the truck and slides underneath. A side accident happens during a collision where another vehicle becomes lodged under the side of the truck. The windshield, roof and passenger area of the car is often destroyed and the vehicle wedged under the truck, causing devastating injuries and fatalities. Injuries such as brain trauma, fractures, internal injuries, neck and spinal cord injuries and amputation are common in truck underride crashes.

Causes of Truck Underride Accidents

  • Poor truck lighting.
  • Faulty taillights or brake lights.
  • Lack of underride guards.
  • Underride guard failure.
  • Truck moving slower than other traffic.
  • Failure to use flashers when going slower than traffic.
  • Broken down truck not using proper safety measures, such as orange cones, triangles or flares.
  • Trucks performing dangerous U-turns.
  • Sudden stops.
  • Lack of use of reflective tape on rear or sides of the truck.
  • Dirty truck with dirt impeding lightening and reflective tape.
  • Poor weather conditions.

The NHTSA found that large trucks were more likely to be involved in fatal multiple-vehicle crashes than other vehicles. 81% of fatal crashes involving large trucks are multiple-vehicle crashes. Large trucks were also more than three times more likely than other vehicles to be struck in the rear in a two-vehicle fatal crash.

 

Call an experienced truck accident lawyer in Pennsylvania

If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck underride crash, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. This can include compensation for medical expenses, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and lost wages. The experienced truck underride accident lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli in Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre understand state and federal trucking laws and are have successfully litigated and negotiated many trucking accident cases.

At Fellerman & Ciarimboli, we understand that you’ve already been put through a terrible ordeal, and we don’t want you to fight alone. If you were injured or a loved one killed in a truck accident, we have the experienced team needed to thoroughly investigate and determine the cause of the truck accident and fight to get you the maximum compensation for your injuries. For a free consultation, call our truck accident attorneys today. Contact a Philadelphia underride accident lawyer at 215-575-9237 or a Wilkes-Barre underride accident lawyer at 570-714-HURT.

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With more than 40 years of combined experience, the personal injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli strive to provide the best service to clients in Philadelphia, Northeast Pennsylvania, and throughout the Keystone State.

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