Why are Truck Underride Accidents Devastating?

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Truck accidents are some of the most destructive accidents that occur. Underride truck accidents are particularly devastating and are responsible for over 300 fatalities in the United States each year. Many of these horrific accidents could be prevented if trucks are equipped with effective underride protection. The Stop Underrides Act of 2017 would require all tractors to be equipped with metal barriers on the front and sides of the truck and the rear underride guards fortified to make them more effective at preventing an underride accident.

What is a Truck Underride Accident?

A truck underride accident occurs when a passenger vehicle crashes into the back or side of a large truck, sliding underneath the trailer. In many cases, the top of the vehicle is sheared off after it slides underneath the truck. As a result, the injuries tend to be horrific, including decapitations. There are two types of truck underride accidents:

  • Side underride collisions: These often occur when a truck is crossing the street or making a U-turn, and an oncoming vehicle hits the side of the truck, sliding underneath it. In some cases, the driver in the passenger vehicle may have thought that the truck was moving faster than it was and would clear the road in time.
  • Rear underride collisions: When a passenger vehicle slams into the rear of a large truck and slides underneath the back of the truck, this is a rear underride accident. This often occurs when trucks are not marked with the appropriate reflective tape or if a vehicle following the truck does not realize how slow the truck is moving. Poor weather conditions can increase the chances of both types of underride accidents.

Stricter Guard Requirements Needed

Since 1998, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has made it a requirement for all trailers to be equipped with rear guards. Although underride guards have proven to be effective at preventing vehicles from sliding underneath trucks, many of the guards that are on trucks today are aging and are not as effective. If passed, the Stop Underrides Act of 2017 would ensure that the front and sides of trucks would be fortified with metal barriers. It would also ensure that periodic inspections are conducted, and any truck that failed an inspection would be taken off the road until the issue is addressed.

Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Underride Truck Accidents

If you or a loved one was seriously injured in an underride truck accident, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore truck accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will work tirelessly to secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve for all the expenses related to your injuries. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.

Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Prince George’s County, allowing us to represent victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.