It looks very exciting in the movies when a passenger car slides underneath a tractor-trailer truck, and no one is injured. In real life, it is usually not so sleek.
Recently, a 68-year-old woman from Cleveland, Ohio was killed when she lost control of her vehicle on the Ohio Turnpike and collided with a semi tractor-trailer. Her car slid underneath the truck due to the impact of the collision.
These types of accidents, known as “underride guard accidents” take the lives of approximately 350 persons annually, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Underride guards are generally long pieces of steel attached to the rear or side of a large truck and are designed to prevent a smaller vehicles from going underneath or partially under the larger vehicle in a collision.
The federal government enacted regulations in 1953 requiring all large trucks to be equipped with the guards. However, enforcement of the regulations is said to have been lax and by 1994 the Truck Trailers Manufacturers Association issued a “voluntary” Recommended Practice concerning usage of the guards.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that inadequate guards (i.e. corroded or improperly installed) could fail even in low speed crashes. Another study revealed proper use of the guards could lower fatalities by 11 percent and reduce serious injuries by 30 percent.
Ohio law currently states that tractor-trailer drivers are required to have the bar across the back of their vehicle. An investigation by IIHS showed many truckers either did not have the guard on their trucks or were using a guard that was so rusted it would do little or nothing to prevent a serious or deadly accident from occurring.
If you are involved in a serious accident with your vehicle (or even one that at first appears to be minor) and you believe that you may need legal help, please consider calling the law firm of Slater & Zurz LLP at 1-888-534-4850. We have convenient offices in Akron, Cleveland, Canton and Columbus and Ohio truck accident lawyers who are experienced with various types of vehicular accidents, including truck accidents and truck/car accidents.
It is the firm’s job to see that you are compensated for any injury you or a family member or loved one has sustained and to investigate exactly what happened in the accident.
If you prefer to contact us online, please go to www.slaterzurz.com and fill out the FREE CASE REVIEW on the upper right hand side of the page. Your query will be answered very shortly. Do not hesitate to call or go to the website if you have any questions about your car or truck accident.