Very few people are lucky enough to survive large truck crashes with nothing more than minor injuries. Due to their size and weight truck crashes can wreak havoc on Alabama roadways and injure or kill multiple people. Underride truck crashes, however, are among the worst types of truck crashes.
Once a motorist's car gets crushed underneath the side or back of a semi-trailer, the driver or front passenger may be decapitated. Anyone who manages to survive this type of truck crash will likely require emergency medical attention and years of inclusive medical care.
What causes underride truck accidents?
Underride truck crashes happen when a motorist crashes under the side or back of a semi-trailer. Visibility issues is a leading factor in these types of crashes. According to crashforensics.com, the majority of underride truck crashes happen at night on major roadways.
Semi-trailers that don't have adequate lighting or reflective tape may be difficult to see. When visibility is low, underride crashes may occur when truck drivers:
- Make U-turns on high-speed roadways
- Slowly pull into traffic or cross intersections on high-speed roadways
- Turn left on high-speed roadways
- Brake abruptly or suddenly stop when traffic becomes backed up
Can the trucking industry prevent underride accidents?
Unfortunately, there are currently no laws requiring the installation of underride guards. Lawmakers and safety advocates have been pushing for a law requiring them for several years, but to no avail.
Congress introduced the Stop Underrides Act (S.665) in March 2019. The law would require fleet owners to install underride front, side, and rear underride guards on all semi-trailers weighing more than 10,000 lbs.
In addition, the law would require truck drivers to:
- Conduct pre-trip inspections of underride protection systems
- Identify any damage to underride guards, including rusted metal, cracks, as well as missing or loose fasteners
- Promptly make all necessary repairs
Truck drivers and fleet owners also have a duty to ensure that their trailers are visible at night. This includes installing and maintaining reflective tape, lighting, and other reflective devices. This is not only common sense, it's required by law.
How can I take legal action after an underride truck accident?
Whether you were severely injured or lost a loved one in an underride crash, you have the right to demand legal action.
The attorneys at Shuttlesworth Law Firm LLC have earned a solid reputation in the greater Birmingham, Alabama, area for helping injured motorists maximize their compensation.
We don't take a cookie-cutter approach to our clients. We'll work tirelessly to investigate your truck crash and use the evidence we find to build a case against the trucking company and its insurer.
Contact us online to find out how we can help you.