According to statistics, each year across the country about 400 people are fatally injured in rear-end crashes with commercial trucks. Many more are seriously injured but survive. In about half of all fatal rear-end truck accidents, the smaller passenger car slides under the truck in what is known as an underride. Underride accidents are especially tragic since during this type of accident the passenger vehicle is crushed or the top is sheared off, causing devastating injuries to the passengers inside the car. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), many of these types of accidents are preventable.
There are regulations in place to prevent underride Miami Gardens truck accidents. Since 1998, federal rules have required large commercial trucks to have underride guards. These are bars that are attached to the back of the tractor trailer in order to prevent cars from sliding under the vehicle in the event of a collision. However, underride Miami Gardens car accidents continue to happen. According to the IIHS, in some cases the guard breaks off in the event of an accident. In 2011, the IIHS conducted research on underride guards. The results of the study were surprising: in half of tests, underride guards failed, even at speeds as little as 35mph. Worse, the guards met safety standards, so they were guards considered effective. According to the IIHS, the problem was that in many cases when a car struck the guard at an angle, the attachment holding the guard to the truck gave way.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), tests on underride guards have been conducted repeatedly with similar results and the government has been aware of the problems with the guards since at least 2009. The IIHS would like to see government regulators step in to correct the issue. In Canada and Europe, stricter measures have been introduced to prevent underride accidents and experts in Florida feel that more could be done to prevent this devastating type of Miami Gardens traffic accident.
The IIHS is continuing its efforts to change the regulations and has announced new research examining the top tractor trailer manufacturers to see which fare best in rear-end collisions. Results of the studies are expected in early 2013.
In the meantime, accident victims who have been seriously injured in underride Miami Gardens truck accidents are often turning to Miami Gardens personal injury attorneys and legal claims in order to hold manufacturers and drivers responsible. Florida law does allow anyone seriously injured in a truck accident to seek a claim against those liable for the injuries.
If you have been injured in a Miami Gardens truck accident, contact the Flaxman Law Group to arrange for a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your rights and your options. The Flaxman Law Group is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-866-FLAXMAN (1-866-352-9626) or through an online form. Don’t make a costly mistake in your case; get the facts about your options before you make any final decisions.