Inadequate Underride Guards May Cause Fatal Tractor-Trailer Accidents at Low Speeds


April 20, 2011

Tractor-trailer accidents are amongst the deadliest for occupants of passenger vehicles. While increased regulation of the trucking industry and improved passenger vehicle safety standards have helped reduce some trucking accidents, such as those related to the use of illegal drugs or violation of hours of service rules, little progress has been made in preventing other types of trucking accidents.

Recent crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicate that the trucking industry has a long way to go in preventing passenger vehicles from being trapped under tractor-trailers during collisions.

Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, has been representing those injured in serious trucking accidents for over 27 years. Commercial trucking litigation is particularly complex requiring a thorough understanding of trucking industry practices and regulations. Our experienced Georgia trucking accident attorneys have the expertise to develop the best litigation strategy to obtain the best possible result in your commercial trucking accident lawsuit. We will carefully investigate the crash site, truck driver logs, trucking company safety records, electronically recorded data and other information to ensure the best possible outcome in your commercial trucking case.

The crash standards for passenger vehicles have improved so far that a passenger vehicle can crash into a stationary object at 35 mph without serious injury to vehicle occupants. According to the recent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, a similar accident involving a tractor-trailer is much more likely to lead to serious injuries including decapitations and fatalities. The issue is that many commercial trucks have inadequate underride guards. This means that the upper part of a passenger vehicle's occupant cabin is crushed when the body of the tractor-trailer crashes through the passenger cabin as the vehicle travels under the rear of the tractor-trailer.

The flaws in tractor-trailer underride guards appear to fall into two broad categories based on the recent study. The first flaw is related to the guard not covering enough area so that a passenger vehicle is not prevented from continuing under a tractor-trailer depending on the type of underride guard and where in the rear of the back of the vehicle the impact is focused. The other defect is a lack of safety standards regarding the entire unit in terms of how the guard is secured to the vehicle. Some versions of underride guards were found to fail at reasonably low speeds because the hardware holding the guard in place gave way in a collision.

The study also found that 78 percent of accidents studied involved the passenger vehicle being involved in an underride accident with the tractor-trailer to some degree. In 82 percent of the trucking accidents that resulted in death, the entire front end (or more) of the vehicle slid beneath the truck. If you have been involved in a serious commercial trucking accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. At Montlick and Associates we have represented many tractor-trailer accident victims throughout Georgia. We will work diligently to obtain the best possible outcome in your tractor-trailer accident lawsuit as part of our ongoing goal of being the best tractor-trailer accident attorneys in Atlanta and throughout Georgia.

The Georgia tractor-trailer accident lawyers of Montlick and Associates are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Truck Accidents

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