Failure of Semi-Truck Safety Device Leaves You at Risk

The thought of a car slamming into the back of a semi-truck is terrifying, and for good reason. When a vehicle hits the back of an 18-wheeler during an accident, there is a good chance the car will end up under the back of the semi. In fact, during the Large Truck Causation Study, it was found that when a vehicle strikes the back of a large truck, there is a good chance it will cause severe or catastrophic damage.

This type of accident is called an undercarriage accident (or, underride accident) and is among the most deadly types of semi-truck accidents. In 1996, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) was concerned enough about undercarriage accidents to impose new standards for guards to prevent many injuries and deaths. Unfortunately, a recent study found that too many of the guards are prone to failure.

Flawed Guards, Serious Consequences

The IIHS performed a study in 2011 which looked at the performance of the underride guards used by many large trucks. What they found was sobering. At just 35 mph, a common brand of underride guard not only bent, but also was torn from its attachment points. The car used for the test was severely damaged: the windshield and front portion of the roof ripped clean off.

Another issue is that many trucks aren’t required to use underride guards. Exemptions are allowed for trailers where the chassis prevents a guard from being attached. Most dump trucks aren’t required to install the guards, yet they are among the most dangerous types of trucks on the road. With trucks either exempt or using ineffective guards, it’s no wonder undercarriage accidents still are as deadly as ever.

Our Bucks County semi-truck accident attorneys hope you never learn firsthand the terrible impact an undercarriage accident can have on your life. If, however, you are injured or lose a loved one during a crash with a semi-truck, know that you do not have to go it alone.

Let us help shoulder the burden and help you obtain the compensation you need. Help is just a call away. Call 215-642-2335 today.