Among the deadliest auto accidents on highways and roads are truck underride crashes, where a vehicle slides underneath a truck, shearing off its top in the process. Most victims are found decapitated and dead, with fewer surviving. If they are lucky, they will not go completely under by landing near the truck’s axis. Side underride crashes occur when the car enters below the truck’s side while rear underride crashes happen under its back.

Side and Rear Underride Crashes

Cars will often misjudge the turn or u-turn of a truck onto a street and accelerate forward into its side underride. This is due to trucks moving at a slower speed than drivers anticipate, which leads them to drive without discretion. Visibility of a truck is the most challenging at night and people have to avoid moving vehicles they can barely make out.

Rear underride crashes take place most often on highways and streets by trucks that are poorly marked or parked on the side. In both cases, especially when daytime has expired, sudans and other small vehicles will slip underneath the semi-trailer to their deaths. Another opportunity for these tragedies to occur is when distracted highway drivers text while driving behind trucks, not realizing decreases in their speed.

Target Contrast

Despite a truck being larger in size than most vehicles, it still carries the ability to camouflage with its surroundings since there is not adequate target contrast. For example, a low sun during the day can reflect at an angle that causes the truck to “hide” from the eyes of oncoming traffic. Any cargo sticking out the sides of the vehicle such as lumber and pipe is not reflective and cars will not see it as they speed toward the side or rear.

Guard Laws for Trucks

The death of American actress Jayne Mansfield over fifty years ago coined the name “Mansfield bars” for rear underride crashes. It later became part of the push by the National Traffic Safety Administration in 1998 to require rear guards for all semi-trailers to prevent the disaster from happening.

However, there are no forced laws to utilize side underride guards, which allow these crashes to continue. The National Transportation Safety Board recommends its use for truckers and their employers as a road safety measure, yet these have not become standard across highways and streets. Both sides of truck underrides, side and rear, include retroactive red and white colors that pop even at night and reflect light for easier visibility.

Our Experienced Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help

It is disappointing for us at Stickland and Kendall to witness our clients lose loved ones to truck underride crashes, which is why we are here to help. We have trained truck accident lawyers in our firm ready to analyze your case from every angle to get the compensation you need.

From physical injury and trauma to asset losses and medical bills, we can fight for your rights in court and make sure these are covered by those responsible. Give us a call at 334.269.3230 so we schedule you for a free consultation and begin the healing process.