When a passenger vehicle encounters a large commercial truck and the two collide, the smaller vehicle can get caught underneath the truck which then results in what is called an underride crash. The reason smaller vehicles can get stuck underneath a large truck is because of the “structural mismatch,” according to the National Safety Council (NSC). You see, “commercial trucks sit higher off the ground than passenger vehicles chiefly due to the much larger tire size trucks require to carry large cargo loads.” Because of this “height mismatch,” it makes it much easier for a small vehicle to slip right under the truck.
Although underride accidents aren’t among the most common types that occur that involve commercial trucks, they are still responsible for injuring individuals and taking lives. In 2016, there were 204 passenger vehicle occupants who were killed after having been involved in an underride crash. The NSC also highlights that the number of fatalities occurring as a result of these types of collisions may be underreported.
Why do underride accidents occur?
One of the main reasons why underride truck accidents transpire is because of the way in which large trucks are manufactured. According to the NSC,“the majority of semi-trailers manufactured each year have minimally-compliant rear guards and no side underride guards, while most trucks do not have front underride protection.” The source also highlighted that “single-unit trucks have no federal requirements for underride protection of any type. Each CMV that operates on U.S. roadways with deficient rear, side, and front guards put other roadway users at increased risk of underride in a collision.”
What are some potential solutions to reducing the number of underride accidents that occur each year?
The NSC highlights a number of potential solutions that can help reduce the number of underride accidents that occur and some of these include:
- Improve the current rear underride protection systems. Apparently, there are several “insufficiencies” with the current US regulation on rear underride guards and with some improvement made to them, it can help prevent further accidents from transpiring.
- Improve side underride protection systems. The NSC stated that “there are [currently] no federal standards for side underride protection on large trucks or trailers” which means if federal regulations were to require them, it could help keep smaller vehicles from getting caught underneath the side of a truck if it were to engage in an accident with one.
- Improve trailer underride protection system legislation. The NSC says that “the federal requirements for rear underride protection systems are outdated and stand to be improved.” If large trucks were required to have underride protection all around the vehicle, this could significantly reduce the chances of an underride crash from occurring.
If the improvements listed above were implemented, perhaps fewer vehicles that engage in a collision with a larger truck would be forced underneath the vehicle. This, in turn, could result in less severe crashes as many that occur in this manner offer result in fatalities.
Do you know someone who was involved in an underride accident with a tractor-trailer?
Did you recently sustain injuries in any type of truck collision that occurred in Baltimore, MD?
If you answered yes to either question stated above, then now would be a good time to get in contact with a reputable Baltimore, MD truck crash attorney. When considering how serious truck accidents have been in the past and even those that transpired recently, it is likely you are suffering from serious injuries that require constant medical attention which can become costly for anyone who doesn’t have extra funds lying around to cover these medical expenses.
Therefore, if you are interested in learning more about what your legal rights are as a victim and how much your injuries entitle you to recover, contact USAttorneys.com and we will gladly help you find and retain a local truck accident lawyer in the Baltimore area.