Prevalence of Under-Ride Accidents Brings New Federal Safety Regulations

Truck accidents have the potential to result in massive property damage, serious injury, and even death, due to the magnitude of the trucks and the subsequent havoc that is caused when vehicles of this size are involved in an accident. There are many causes of truck accidents, and even with stringent safety regulations and driver training these accidents continue to occur.

truck-on-hwy-1615510One common type of truck accident is called an under-ride accident. There are several studies that have found that under-ride accidents have the highest likelihood of causing a fatality.

An under-ride accident occurs when a smaller vehicle somehow ends up underneath a larger truck, often an 18-wheeler. The reason these accidents occur is because often the bottom of a truck is roughly 45 inches above the ground, whereas a standard passenger sedan is about 30 inches above the ground. When a sedan crashes into the rear of a truck, the car can become stuck underneath the trailer. This can also occur when a truck crashes into the sedan, and the truck engulfs the car underneath the front of the truck. Unfortunately, this type of accident often results in major damage, such as a fire or explosion, and it almost always results in serious injury or death to those in the car.

U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Proposes Under-Ride Guards

According to a national report, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed a new safety regulation that would require trucking companies to have stronger under-ride guards. The NHTSA estimates that there are about 400 deaths resulting from under-ride accidents. Furthermore, about 125 of those accidents also included objects crashing through passenger areas. Many studies have determined that stronger under-ride protections could drastically reduce the serious injuries and deaths caused by these accidents.

The NHTSA is using the Canadian model in developing their safety standards. The NHTSA explained that about 93% of all new trucks sold in the United States will meet these newly proposed requirements. For those vehicles that don’t already meet the new standard, the NHTSA estimates that the change will cost a mere $229 per vehicle, and the entire cost for the trucking industry will be somewhere around $13 million. This change has been many years in the making. In fact, one traffic-focused research institute called for stronger under-ride guards back in 2001. Lobbying groups have also pushed for this change for several years.

Have You Been Involved in an Accident with a Truck in New Mexico?

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a large truck, you probably know all too well the disastrous effects such a serious truck accident can cause. New Mexico has a high rate of accidents that involve trucks, and it is important that if you believe the driver or their employer was negligent, you have the assistance of an experienced attorney to pursue a negligence claim against the liable parties. An attorney at the Fine Law Firm can assist you in preparing your case and represent you at all stages of your case. Contact an attorney at the Fine Law Firm today at 505-889-3463 to schedule your free initial consultation.

More Blog Posts:

Two Killed in Accident Involving Band’s Van and Semi-Truck, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, November 24, 2015.

Large Double-Decker Tour Bus Crash Results in Several Injuries, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, December 1, 2015.