Collisions between tractor trailers and passenger vehicles can be deadly, particularly for the driver and passengers in the smaller vehicle. One type of accident that can occur between a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle is an underride crash, which occurs when the smaller vehicle slides under the much taller tractor trailer. Typically, this type of accident results in severe, if not fatal, injuries for all occupants of the passenger vehicle. To prevent this type of accident, all tractor trailers in the United States are required to be equipped with rear underride guards.
Side Guards on Tractor Trailers
Although rear underride guards are mandatory for commercial trucks, side underride guards are currently not required. A side guard is a protective barrier attached to the side of a trailer that extends close to the roadway. It acts as a protective shield to prevent vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists from falling under a truck and being crushed.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration currently recommends that new trucks be manufactured with side guards in place. These can prevent serious injuries, but not all parties are on board with side guards becoming a requirement. The Truck Trailer Manufacturer Association is against making this a requirement, claiming that it would be too costly and technically difficult to manufacture new trucks with side guards in place. Representatives further argue the guards can weaken a trailer or alter its balance by increasing its weight.
Truck Accident Facts
Currently, more than 200 people die in side underride collisions every year. When a side underride crash does not result in death, it can result in quadriplegia and other life-changing injuries.
Other facts to note about accidents involving tractor trailers and passenger vehicles include:
- A tractor trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds
- In 2015, a total of 3,852 people died in truck accidents
- Of these deaths, 16 percent were truck occupants; 69 percent were drivers and passengers of other types of vehicle
- In Europe, trucks are required to have both side and rear underride guards in place
Seeking Compensation for Damages Following a Truck Accident
The first thing you need to do after being involved in a truck accident is to seek medical attention for your injury. This is critical to ensure that you receive a prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan for your injury. Additionally, your medical records can serve as important evidence to support your personal injury claim.
Through a truck accident claim, you can seek compensation for your medical bills, your lost wages, and any other damages related to your injury. These can include the cost of psychological counseling to remedy mental health issues related to the injury and the costs of your reduced quality of life following the injury, such as a reduced ability to earn a living and the permanent need for disability aids.
Cherry Hill Truck Accident Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Help Injured Truck Accident Victims Seek Compensation for their Damages
A truck accident can result in substantial financial damages, such as high medical bills, lost wages, and costs associated with your reduced quality of life following the accident. To discuss your rights as a victim and how you can seek compensation for these damages, complete our online form or call 856-414-0010 to schedule your initial consultation with a truck accident lawyer at DiTomaso Law. Our offices are located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and Philadelphia, and represent injury victims throughout Pennsylvania and South Jersey.