Author: Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP
Preventing Underride Accidents
Underride is a type of vehicle accident where a car rear ends a large truck and the impact causes the top of the car to ride underneath the body of the truck. The greatest danger in this type of accident is head trauma or decapitation. Consequently, many tractor trailers today come with rear guards designed to prevent underride accidents.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that it is difficult to determine how many of the nation’s 2,241 fatalities caused by cars rear ending trucks resulted in underride accidents. Even so, an IIHS 2011 study of 115 rear end crashes discovered that nearly half had severe or catastrophic underride damage and only one-fifth had no underride or negligible underride damages. An IIHS test study also found that Canadian rear guards, which must meet more stringent standards than U.S. rear guards, could withstand twice the force. Depending on the angle at which a car crashes into the rear end of the truck, American rear guards sometimes protect and other times fail to protect car passengers and drivers. A car-trailer overlap of 30 percent is the minimum amount of overlap where car occupant’s heads are likely to strike a tractor trailer when rear guards fail to withstand the force. Only one truck with a rear guard surpassed that test, and it was the Canadian rear guard truck. The IIHS is pushing for stricter U.S. rear guard standards.
Not all states even require trucks to use rear guards. Currently, New York State has introduced a bill in its legislature for rear guards. After a tragic accident where a truck killed a six-year old boy who was walking to school, New York Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz of the Bronx introduced legislation that would require certain large trucks to use rear wheel guards. Senator Diaz indicated estimates show 10 New York children die every year in these types of accidents, which rear wheel guards could hopefully prevent.
Anyone suffering serious injury or families who lose loved ones in traffic accidents should seek legal help from an experienced Long Island personal injury lawyer. For the past three decades, Rosenberg & Gluck has successfully helped numerous clients recover compensation for all types of traffic accidents.