Truck underride accidents are some of the most gruesome and fatal types of truck accidents that Connecticut drivers can be involved in. Tragically, truck underride collisions account for close to 25% of all traffic fatalities resulting from a truck accident across the country. Even at slower speeds, these types of accidents can be deadly to passengers in the smaller car.
When a passenger vehicle collides with the rear of a tractor-trailer, there is a large risk of an underride collision happening. The bottom of the average trailer is about the height of the windshield of the average car. An underride collision happens when a car runs underneath the truck, running the risk of the roof sheering off the vehicle and killing the passengers inside.
If you were fortunate enough to survive a Connecticut truck underride collision, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit to recover damages from the crash. Alternatively, if you lost a loved one in this type of accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim in order to keep you and your family financially stable during this difficult time. To begin exploring your legal options, contact Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers today by completing the Free Case Evaluation form.
Contributing Factors Of Truck Underride Collisions
Several factors can cause a truck underride crash. By being aware of some of these causes, Connecticut drivers could potentially avoid a dangerous situation. The following circumstances commonly result in truck underride collisions:
- A truck that is moving significantly slower than all other vehicles on the road.
- Inadequate or inoperative side safety lighting when a driver is either turning or obstructing a lane of traffic.
- A broken-down commercial vehicle and a driver who does not properly use reflective triangles.
- An extremely slow-moving truck and a driver who fails to turn on their emergency flashers.
- Dim, dirty or faulty taillights on the truck.
A truck underride collision is not always avoidable. If you or a loved one has been involved in this type of truck accident, we encourage you to contact our firm right away to see how we may be able to help you with your claim. To get started, simply complete the Free Case Evaluation form on this page.
Different Types Of Truck Underride Accidents
There are two different types of underride wrecks: side underride accidents and rear underride collisions. As may be assumed by their names, a side underride accident happens when the smaller car slides underneath the side of a truck and a rear underride accident occurs when a vehicle goes directly under the rear trailer of the truck.
- Rear underride collisions: In addition to the causes listed above, rear underride accidents can often result from a poorly-marked truck parked on the side of the road, a truck that is moving slowly as it enters or exits the road or that is slowing down for a railroad crossing.
- Side underride collisions: These types of accidents happen at night or during low sun-angle conditions. Side underride accidents can often happen when a truck driver is trying to cross or turn onto a highway or street, is attempting a U-turn or is trying to back across traffic.
Failures Of Underride Guards
An underride guard is a long piece of steel that attaches to the front, side and/or rear of a large truck, intending to block smaller cars from passing underneath the trailer. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the current U.S. regulations regarding these guards are insufficient.
For 30 years, IIHS has been researching the dangers of underride collisions. The IIHS recently petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for the improvement of underride guard regulations.
According to its research, the IIHS concluded that even at speeds as low as 35 mph, rear underride guards often fail. They petitioned the NHTSA to revise its regulations to include the following:
- Minimize exemptions so that more trailers are required to have underride guards.
- Require guards to be more durable so that they will remain in place during an accident.
- Prohibit the separate testing of guard components and to instead require that the entire guard system be tested as a whole and attached to the trailer at the time of testing.
- Determine whether it would be more effective to lower rear guards.
Estimates show that over 400 people die each year in a truck underride accident. It is important to consult with a qualified Connecticut truck accident attorney as soon as possible if you have sustained serious injuries in a collision or if an underride accident caused your loved one’s wrongful death.
When an underride accident occurs, the roof of the smaller car can be crushed or sheared off, often resulting in serious injuries to the vehicle occupants who are fortunate enough to survive the crash. Unfortunately, even cars with the best crash ratings can do very little to protect passengers from serious injury or death in the event of this type of accident.
Contact A Knowledgeable Lawyer Today For Free
Our truck accident attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers have the skills and resources necessary to hold the at-fault parties liable for any damages which resulted from a Connecticut truck underride collision. We understand the intricacies involved in complex commercial vehicle litigation and encourage you to schedule a free, initial consultation with a member of our legal team right away.
Connecticut has a strict statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim and failing to do so within a reasonable amount of time could significantly limit your ability to recover fair compensation for your losses. For more information on the legal rights which may be available to Connecticut truck underride victims and their families or to schedule a confidential, no-obligation case evaluation with one of our lawyers, please complete the Free Case Evaluation form on this page. You can also call us toll-free at 800-PERKINS