Underride accidents occur when vehicles colliding into large trucks slide under the trailer, crushing or sheering off the car's roof. As devastating as that sounds, you would hope that underride accidents were events of the past. While improvements have been made in safety standards, more than 350 people a year continue to die in underride accidents.
According to a graphic ABC News report in 2011, rear impact guards manufactured to U.S. standards did not pass the test. In an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) test, cars traveling 35 miles per hour that slammed into the back of parked trailers still crushed car roofs to the point where passengers would not survive the crash. By comparison, Canadian rear impact guards were 75 percent stronger than U.S. guards and theirs passed the test. This fact signaled a need for greater improvement in U.S. safety standards.
In 2014, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) took action by releasing a mandate to eliminate blind spots and underride accidents as part of its effort to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries. Effective 2018, trucks must:
- Meet new (more stringent) rear underride guard standards
- Install side underride protection systems
- Implement new rear visibility enhancement systems
- Add trailer vehicle identification number and trailer model year to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) database for trailers weighing more than 10,000 pounds
- Require all new light vehicles (including trucks and buses) to have rear camera system technology
Truck accidents of all types are typically serious. Anyone suffering severe injuries in Sarasota or Manatee counties, or families who lose loved ones, should consider speaking to an experienced Florida accident lawyer. You are up against trucking companies with experienced legal teams and need a professional to protect your rights and help you seek compensation.