The massive semi-trucks that roam our highway systems are so large and so heavy that any traffic accidents involving them are destined to be extremely serious. Nearly every truck accident is both dangerous and terrifying, but underride accidents are even more so. If a negligent trucker leaves you injured in an underride accident, it’s in you and your case’s best interest to consult with an experienced New York City personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
What’s an Underride?
An underride accident refers to when a car or any other smaller vehicle crashes into a semi-truck and proceeds to move underneath that truck. This action tends to shear the top off of the under-riding vehicle in the course of the accident. The inherent danger and terror associated with these often-deadly accidents is not difficult to imagine. In fact, underrides are among the deadliest accidents on our roadways.
Side and Rear Underrides
Underride accidents are classified in the following two categories:
- Rear Underrides – Rear underrides refer to when a vehicle crashes into the back of a truck and keeps moving forward. Massive commercial trucks make it difficult to see what’s ahead, and when they slow down or stop suddenly, it makes rear underrides more likely. Trucks that have inadequate rear markings or that pull off the road unsafely can also lead to rear underride accidents. Every semi is required to have rear safety guards to help prevent vehicles from plowing further forward during the course of rear-end accidents, but these guards aren’t always up to the task.
- Side Underrides – Side underrides refer to accidents in which smaller vehicles plow into the sides of big rigs and come to a stop underneath the rigs. These life-threatening accidents often happen at intersections when a truck is turning across a vehicle’s path, such as when making a left turn or a U-turn. These accidents are also related to truckers who blow through red lights. Additionally, trucks with low visibility due to inadequate lighting are more likely to cause side underride accidents. There is currently no requirement for 18-wheelers to come equipped with side safety-guards, although many federal safety agencies agree that such guards do increase safety and should be mandated.
Truck Driver Negligence
Truck accidents, including underrides, are often attributable to truck driver negligence, including:
- Distraction – Driver distraction occurs whenever a trucker's attention is focused on anything other than driving safely.
- Exhaustion – Truckers spend many, many hours behind the wheel, but when they exceed the amount of time dictated by strict hours-of-service regulations, they endanger everyone with whom they share the road.
- Impairment – Truck drivers are professional drivers, which means that imbibing in alcohol and/or other drugs that impair while on the road is strictly forbidden.
Call an Experienced New York City Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you or someone you love has been injured in an underride accident, the dedicated personal injury attorneys at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman in NYC have the experience, fortitude, and resources to help. Your case is important, so please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 212-285-3300 for more information today.