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Can transportation companies prevent underride crashes?

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2024 | Truck Accidents

Collisions between passenger vehicles and commercial trucks often result in tragic outcomes. Smaller vehicles involved in such collisions may incur substantial damage, and occupants of those vehicles could experience life-altering injuries.

Some of the worst collisions occur when passenger vehicles strike commercial trucks at a high speed. Underride collisions can occur when a vehicle hits the back of a semi-truck’s trailer and ends up forced under the trailer by vehicle momentum. Side underride crashes also occur if the point of contact is between the axles on the side of a trailer. Underride collisions can cause absolute devastation to smaller vehicles and their occupants.

Is it true that transportation companies could prevent the majority of underride collisions?

There is technology available to reduce the risk

Transportation companies can take multiple steps to reduce the likelihood of their drivers causing crashes. The training they provide their drivers, the way the company schedules deliveries and even vehicle maintenance efforts can reduce the chances of severe collisions.

Underride collisions have been an issue for as long as passenger vehicles have shared the road with semi-trucks. Researchers looking into design elements that contribute to these crashes have developed special underride guards that can prevent underride crashes or limit how severe they are. Transportation companies can install guards on their vehicles that can protect smaller vehicles should crashes occur.

Unfortunately, current requirements established by the federal government do not mandate side underride guards. While rear underride guards are required, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) does not order companies to install the most effective models available.

Many trucking companies choose the cheapest models they can find and may fail to repair them in a manner that could protect the public from severe collisions. Those dealing with the aftermath of preventable underride collisions may sometimes have grounds to take action against the trucking company due to the failure to acknowledge a known risk factor. Commercial trucks often have large insurance policies attached that can help cover the cost of vehicle damage, medical bills and lost wages after an underride semi-truck collision occurs.

Understanding when certain types of crashes are preventable and predictable can help people determine who might be legally and financially responsible for semi-truck collisions.

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