Truck Underride Accident | Lawyer Sarasota Florida
Underrun AccidentA truck underride accident occurs when a passenger car, usually its front, collides with a large truck or the trailer of a tractor-trailer and runs under the truck or trailer. An underride accident is also called an underrun accident.The space between the bottom of the semi-truck and the ground is called the “undercarriage.” Undercarriage also specifies the space between the road surface and bottom of any vehicle.The space between undercarriage of a passenger car is typically less then 30 inches off the ground. Sports cars often have an even smaller undercarriage.On the other hand, the bed of a tractor-trailer is typically more than 45 inches above the ground. In an underride accident, the passenger car can go under the trailer, sometimes shearing off the roof and killing the occupants inside.Annually, there are thousands of fatal accidents in rear underride and about 500 people are killed in side underride collisions. Since 1993, trucks have been required to place reflective tape on the rear and sides of trailers. And in 1996, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) required rear underride guards at 22 inches above the ground effective as of January 1998.Unfortunately, dirt on trucks often cover the reflective tape and the requirement for underride guards applies only to new trucks, so a high number of trucks on our roads have not been retrofitted with them. And in some cases, underride guards are not strong enough to stop passenger car’s engine blocks, preventing cars from under riding in rear collisions.There is still no requirement for side underride guards; and trucking companies do not appear willing to voluntarily place on them on tractor trailers.There are many reasons why underride accidents continue to occur. Conditions that increase the chance that an underride accident will occur include:• A poorly marked truck parked on the side of the road, slowing to exit the road, moving slowly as it enters the road, slowing to exit the road, or slowing for a railroad crossing.• A slow moving truck creates less contrast than a faster moving truck, and will be hard to perceive as an obstruction.• One car could literally sideswipe or rear end another vehicle, causing it to temporarily lose control and strike the truck underride.• A failure by the truck driver to use reflective triangles when broken down or parked on or near the road.• A failure by the truck driver to use emergency flashers when exiting or entering the highway at slow speeds.• Broken, dim, or dirty taillight; taillights that are very close together.• Poor road lighting can make it difficult to see the outline of a trailer, especially if it is dark colored.• Reduced visibility, such as heavy rain conditions or fog• Slick road conditions, which increase the stopping distance for a car approaching a tractor trailer.Additionally, a truck driver that tries to back across traffic, make a U-turn, or cross onto a street or highway increases the danger of a potential side underride truck accident. The truck driver may incorrectly assume that the truck is visible to oncoming drivers as the truck crosses the road.An underride truck accident or underrun truck accident is often a fatal accident. If not fatal, then the traffic crash often leads to catastrophic personal injury, including head injury, brain injury, spinal cord injury, paralysis.If you or a family member was involved in an underride collision or underrun collision, then contact a truck accident attorney.Motor vehicle accident cases involving trucks can be complex and prompt investigation and legal action is often required to protect consumer rights and position the case to achieve justice. Contact our accident attorneys today.