Tractor-Trailer underride accidents occur when the front of a passenger vehicle, especially a small passenger car, contacts the rear or side of a truck trailer
. The rigid structures in the front end of a small passenger car, such as the engine block and hood, are often less than 30 inches above the ground, whereas the bed of the truck trailer is usually more than 45 inches off the ground. The passenger vehicle can underride the trailer, and the bed of the trailer will almost immediately intrude into the occupant compartment above and behind the hood, at great risk to occupants.
Although most tractor-trailers designed after 1993 must be outfitted with retroreflective tape on both the rear and sides and those designed after 1996 must have a rear bumper equipped at 22 inches above the ground (safety groups want them even lower), there are still thousands of tractor-trailers lacking proper safety underride additions. Bumpers often do not meet Department of Transportation standards or collapse on contact.
Regardless of how equipped a tractor-trailer may be to prevent an underride accident, uncontrollable factors such as weather and careless drivers often lead to fatal injuries on the nation's highways. Features such as reflective tape no longer help and an underride accident becomes unavoidable.
Underride accidents are often gruesome as the passenger and driver-side compartments are often literally "guillotined" off. Fatalities are almost always seen. Safety organizations and other consumer interest groups are fighting for more advanced bumper systems and other safety devices to help prevent the dozens of underride accidents that occur each year.
If you or a family member was injured in a tractor-trailer underride accident, it may be important to contact an attorney
who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits
within which you must commence suit.
- Tractor-Trailer Accidents
- Broken Back: Overview
- Broken Bones: Overview
- Burns: Overview
- Coma: Overview
- Dislocation: Overview
- Emotional Problems
- Head & Brain Injury
- Joints & Muscles: Overview
- Loss of Limb
- Paralysis: Overview
- Scars: Overview
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Wounds: Overview