Houston Underride Accident Attorney
What Is an Underride Accident?
Certain types of truck accidents and car accidents are extremely similar; however, underride accidents are unique to 18-wheeler crashes. These incidents involve a large commercial truck as well as a passenger motor vehicle. When the other vehicle is unable to slow down to avoid a stalled or slowly moving truck, it could become pinned underneath the trailer. This is what is known as an underride accident. Unlike a rear-end collision between two motor vehicles of the same size, trucks are so much larger than their counterparts that colliding into the rear of an 18-wheeler or semi-truck doesn't result in the same type of incident as two passenger vehicles. That is why an underride accident is much more likely to occur.
If you or a loved one was hurt in an underride accident, call our Houston truck accident lawyers today.
Other Forms of Underride Accidents
There is another type of underride accident that can occur, although it is rare. In some situations, a truck driver may not see the car in their neighboring lane before making a lane change. As a result, the car and its driver could end up underneath the trailer of the truck if the truck driver proceeds to change lanes when it is still unsafe to do so. Underride accidents can also occur if a sliding, jackknifing truck swoops across the lanes of a highway and passes over other vehicles on the road. A common reaction among truck drivers is to slam on their brakes in panic. Unfortunately, this is perhaps the most detrimental move that could be made, as the car driver can be killed instantly on impact.
Statistics of truck accidents report hundreds of injuries and fatalities from underride accidents each year. While these types of accidents are not common enough to occur on a daily basis, they are catastrophic enough to cause high fatality and injury rates when they do occur. The serious injuries and wrongful deaths that can occur from trucking accidents of this nature must not be taken lightly.
Are There Laws to Protect Drivers from Underride Accidents?
A tremendous amount of energy has been invested into bettering the safety regulations and maintenance laws of trucking companies and their drivers. Unfortunately, unsafe driving and negligent practices remain a problem for truckers throughout the nation. Therefore, if you have been injured or if you lost a loved one in a fatal underride trucking accident, then you owe it to yourself—and your family—to take legal action.
Underride Guards: Are They Actually Effective?
Underride accidents are unfortunately very dangerous as the majority of cars who are shoved under the truck are severely crushed, making it difficult for the victims to escape or survive. The NHTSA shares that there are at least 5,000 victims injured yearly because of these accidents and at least 400 deaths just from underride accidents. Due to the ever present dangers of these types of accidents, federal law has mandated that tractor trailers use underride guards on the sides and back of their trailers in order to prevent these types of accidents from happening.
While one would assume these guards would be effective in their purpose of preventing cars from sliding under the truck, a recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows that these products may not be as helpful as the government has hoped.
The IIHS essentially came to the conclusion that even at slower speeds, these guards were failing and still causing a number of terrible accidents. The IIHS conducted numerous tests in order to discover if this product truly met the U.S. federal standards for accidents in comparison to the (much stricter) standards enforced by the Canadian government. After their tests, they realized that in the majority of the crash tests, the underride guards failed to perform when a car was traveling at only 35 mph; the Canadian guards that met their higher standard were able to protect the cars at the same speeds. Not only should there be a mandatory regulation that all trucks have these underride guards, there need to be much higher standards given in order to make sure that the guards perform their designated tasks—protecting cars in an accident.
We've Recovered Billions of Dollars for the Injured. Call (888) 493-1629 Today.
At Arnold & Itkin, we have handled some of the largest truck accident cases in the U.S. The reckless, negligent behaviors of drivers and trucking companies can be brought to light and used in the representation of your accident case. We know what it takes to successfully recover damages for victims, and we are prepared to employ the necessary measures to protect and uphold your rights after an accident of this nature.
Contact Arnold & Itkin at (888) 493-1629. We would be happy to provide you with a free consultation.