Underride Guards Proven Faulty in Preventing Fatal Dallas Car Accidents

by admin on December 15, 2011

in Car Accidents, Texas Tractor-Trailer Accidents

“Cars’ front-end structures are designed to manage a tremendous amount of crash energy in a way that minimizes injuries for their occupants,” says Adrian Lund, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety president.

But the type of car you drive, no matter how glorious the safety ratings, may not be able to save you in a rear-end Dallas car accident with a tractor-trailer. A study released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) proves underride guards meeting U.S. standards are prone to buckle in low-speed rear-end accidents — with results that are often lethal for the occupants of passenger vehicles.

Dallas personal injury lawyers know the rate of rear-end collisions involving tractor trailers is higher than for any other type of vehicle — trailer height makes it difficult for following vehicles to judge speed and distance. The IIHS is currently petitioning the federal government to establish stricter and more thorough requirements for tractor-trailer underride guards.

According to the National Highway Safety Administration(NHTSA), approximately 423 people in passenger vehicles die when their vehicles strike the backs of commercial trucks each year. An additional 5,000 passenger-vehicle occupants are injured.

The study, conducted by the IIHS, analyzed the result for roughly 1,000 real-world crashes over a two-year period to pinpoint which crash patterns led to rear underride of large trucks with and without guards. Underride was a common outcome of 115 of the crashes involving the car colliding with the back end of a tractor-trailer. Only 22 percent of the crashes didn’t involve underride, or only suffered slight underride. In 23 of the 28 crashes in which someone in the passenger vehicle died, there was a severe amount of underride damage — the entire from end, or more, of the vehicle ended up underneath the truck.

“Damage to the cars in some of these tests was so devastating that it’s hard to watch the footage without wincing. If these had been real-world crashes there would be no survivors,” said Lund.

The study also determined that Canadian trucks, with stricter guard regulations, were proven to be much safer for those in passenger vehicles than the trucks meeting U.S. regulations.

The IIHS has been studying the underride crash problems for 30 years, and has repeatedly demonstrated the ineffectiveness of the current guards. While the institute and safety advocates continue to push the matter with the federal government, it is important for drivers to practice cautious driving habits when sharing the roads with these tractor-trailers.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a Dallas car or trucking accident contact Dallas Injury Attorney Mike Goolsby for a free and confident consultation to discuss your rights. Call (972) 394-2141.

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