Under Ride Truck Accidents on the Rise
Two mothers that suffered unimaginable, tragic losses are leading the crusade for better under ride guards on semi trucks.
The average semi truck trailer is about 3’ off the ground. The average personal vehicle can easily “fit” beneath the semi trailer during an accident. Unfortunately, under ride accidents have resulted in countless tragic and preventable deaths. A vehicle that hits the side or rear of a semi trailer is almost guaranteed to have catastrophic results.
The solution is actually quite simple: Under ride guards. On the back and sides of large trucks, under ride guards are metal or fiberglass barriers that hang to prevent smaller cars, trucks and SUVs from going under the trailer in an accident. Unfortunately, the current federal mandate is decades old and trucking companies do not have to have ride guards in place. Safety advocates are pushing for a big change. Under ride guards should not be confused with skirt type side panels that are used to improve gas mileage and driving performance. True, effective under ride guards are tested to withstand high speed impact and prevent passenger vehicles from becoming lodged under the trailer.
The Facts About Accidents and Under Ride Guards
Semi trailers are not required to have side under ride guards, and existing under ride guard quality is not mandated – Meaning many existing guards can crumble on impact. Rear under ride guards are federally required, further supporting the notion that side guards are a no-brainer.
A 2015 IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) study found
- 1,500 total individuals were involved in accidents with semi trailers
- Of those, over 300 suffered fatal injuries
- 292 additional accidents resulted in fatalities after drivers rear ended semi trailers
- It’s estimated about 50% of all fatal accidents involving semi trailers are under ride related in nature
Under Ride Truck Accidents
- Semi drivers lose control and vehicles become trapped
- Car drivers can get pushed or crushed under during collisions
- Distracted driving
- Weather related accidents, sliding and more
Passengers and drivers are both at risk. Whether your vehicle becomes trapped after a head on collision impact, or from a side ways or rear impact – The crush injuries are virtually unavoidable.
Under ride guards that are built and installed properly almost guarantee a collision with the side of a semi truck trailer will allow the passenger vehicles safety mechanisms to work – Stopping the vehicle from going underneath the trailer and deploying air bags and seat belts to aid in crash injury prevention. While the impact can be dangerous, the crush and nature of entrapment under a trailer is far worse.
Passenger vehicle occupant deaths in 2-vehicle crashes with tractor-trailers
If you or a loved one was injured or killed in an accident with a semi trailer, contact my offices immediately. As your Ohio truck accident attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus, Dayton and neighboring communities. You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373.