Any type of motor vehicle accident can be horrific, but commercial trucking collisions are often among the worst crashes that occur. They can cause the complete destruction of a vehicle and catastrophic injury to the human body.
Like crashes involving passenger vehicles, truck crashes come in a variety forms. One of the most horrific kinds of trucking crashes is the underride crash. In an underride crash, a smaller passenger vehicle passes underneath part of a commercial truck. These crashes can result in the smaller vehicle getting completely crushed or having the top part of the vehicle sheared off by the force of the collision. The people inside will likely suffer life-altering, if not fatal, injuries.
The saddest aspect of these kinds of truck crashes is that many of them would be far less severe if trucking companies invested in the right safety equipment.
Not all rear underride guards are the same
A rear underride occurs when a passenger vehicle hits the back end of the trailer attached to a commercial truck. Trucking companies and owner-operators have a legal obligation to install rear underride guards which are essentially metal bars that prevent the smaller vehicle from going underneath the truck.
Unfortunately, far too many companies go with the cheapest possible version and then don’t maintain or upgrade. Studies have consistently shown that wider and stronger underride guards prevent more collisions than cheaper models. Since the government doesn’t require them, companies may still choose the least protection that they legally can.
Many companies avoid side underride guards altogether
Side underride guards are metal panels suspended from the sides of the trailer to ensure that a vehicle doesn’t pass under the trailer between the axles. The federal government does not mandate the installation of these guards, so many companies just forgo using them. They gamble with the lives of other people because they want to keep their costs low.
In a scenario where you suffer severe injury or lose a loved one because of an inadequate underride guard, you may have grounds to bring a claim against the company involved, instead of just the insurance policy. Contacting an experienced attorney to help evaluate your crash situation and stand up for your rights can also be beneficial to your claim.