What is a Truck Underride Accident?
According to official state government data, approximately 40,000 commercial vehicles are involved in accidents in Florida each year. The larger a commercial vehicle, the more dangerous an accident. As a fully loaded tractor trailer can weigh in excess of 75,000 pounds, large trucks must be operated safely. When semi-trucks are involved in accidents, the consequences may be catastrophic.
One of the most dangerous types of tractor trailer crashes are underride accidents. An underride accident occurs when a smaller passenger car collides with the side or back of a large truck and then slides and gets stuck underneath. In this article, our Miami truck accident attorneys provide an overview of commercial truck underride crashes.
Underride Accidents are Extremely Dangerous
In a recent report, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) noted that truck underride accidents are among the most dangerous and deadly types of motor vehicle collisions. They divided these crashes into two broad categories: Rear underride accidents and side underride accidents. Both types of underride crashes involve a smaller vehicle sliding underneath a trailer—putting the occupants at serious risk of being crushed or trapped within their car. Even a relatively low speed underride accident has the potential to be deadly.
Trucking Companies Can Do More to Prevent Underride Collisions
The big commercial trucking companies can do a lot to prevent and reduce dangerous underride accidents. When trucks have underride guards installed, passenger vehicles are far less likely to end up stuck underneath of a trailer. One study conducted by federal highway safety authorities found that relatively simple underride guards reduce the risk of underride crash fatalities by as much as 80 percent. Many lives could be saved each year if all trucking companies put underride safety technology in place. Unfortunately, there is no state or federal law requiring trucks to install underride protection.
Protect Your Rights After a Commercial Truck Accident
Following a tractor trailer truck accident in South Florida, you need to take swift action to protect your interests. Large commercial trucking companies and their insurance carriers are not on your side. They will do what they can to limit their own financial liability and preserve their profit margins. Here, are five steps to take after a serious commercial truck accident in Florida:
- Seek emergency medical attention for any injuries;
- Report the truck crash to state police or local police;
- Document the accident—take pictures and gather information;
- Avoid giving a statement to the trucking company or its insurance provider; and
- Schedule free consultation with an experienced truck accident injury attorney.
Contact Our Miami, FL Semi-Truck Accident Lawyers Today
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Miami truck accident attorneys have the skills and knowledge to hold large corporations accountable. We are focused on maximizing financial compensation for our clients. If you or your loved one was injured in an underride accident, we can help. Call our law firm today for a free review of your truck accident injury claim. We represent truck accident victims throughout South Florida.