Truck underride accidents kill hundreds of people each year. Truck underride accidents are those accidents that happen when a vehicle collides with a truck and slides underneath it. While there are certain safety mechanisms in place to prevent underride accidents, data shows that they are often ineffective.
According to a report by ABC News in 2011, rear impact guards, which are fastened to the backs of tractor-trailers, are designed to stop cars and prevent them from sliding underneath but the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that when a car, traveling at 35 mph, slammed into the back of a parked trailer, the rear guard meeting U.S. safety standards gave way, allowing the car to slide underneath the truck. Had there been real occupants in the vehicle, instead of crash test dummies, they would likely not have survived.
Earlier this month, in an effort to prevent under-ride accidents, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) implement new safety standards. Specifically, the NTSB recommended that newly manufactured tractor-trailers be required to be equipped with sensors or rearview cameras to help drivers detect other vehicles in blind spots and side protection systems capable of preventing under-riding.
“Millions of large trucks travel our roadways every day, transporting goods and keeping the American economy moving,” said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. “But research shows that eliminating blind spots and underride events would reduce fatalities and injuries involving other road users.”
Additionally, NTSB recommended that NHTSA update its requirements for outdated rear protection system standards and require trailers to have new labeling to allow investigators to track trailer models that are linked to underride incidents.
Contact a Trucking Accident Lawyer
Trucking companies and truck drivers have certain obligations to prevent accidents on the roadway, and if they fail to comply with those obligations, they could be liable for an injuries or damages in a personal injury lawsuit. For instance, trucking companies are obligated to maintain their vehicles in safe working condition. Truck drivers are responsible for obeying the rules of the road and operating their vehicles in a safe manner.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, contact the skilled Chicago trucking accident attorneys at Ankin Law Offices at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and remedies following a trucking accident.