Posted On: March 31, 2011 by Steven J. Malman

Did a Weak Rear Guard Play a Role in Your Loved One’s Chicago Tractor-Trailer Crash Death?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is reporting that the rear guards used on big rigs may not be strong enough to prevent a smaller vehicle from rolling under the large truck during a traffic crash. This is disturbing news, seeing as underride truck crashes cause serious injuries and deaths each year. Our Chicago semi-truck accident law firm is all too familiar with the devastating injuries that can result when one has been involved in this type of rear-end truck collision.

The IIHS says that its own vehicle testing showed that current rear guards could fail even when the truck crash is one occurring at a low speed. The Institute is hoping to remedy this problem and has petitioned the government to mandate stronger underrides that can stay in place during a rear-end truck accident. The IIHS also wants this sturdier protection to become a requirement for more trailers and big rigs.

Seeing as, per the IIHS’s analysis of Large Truck Crash Causation Study truck crash cases, underride was a common result in the 115 truck crashes involving a passenger auto hitting a semi-trailer or large truck, the sooner that tougher rear guards are mandated, the better. Also, out of 28 incidents involving someone in a passenger vehicle dying, serious underride damage was a factor in 23 of these accidents.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that about 423 people are killed annually in accidents involving passenger vehicles rear-ending a large truck. Over 5,000 other passenger vehicle occupants end up injured.

If you were injured in any type of large truck crash, do not hesitate to contact our Chicago 18-wheeler truck accident law firm right away. There may be parties who should be held liable for your injuries. Possible liable parties could include the truck driver, the driver of the passenger vehicle that you were a passenger in, a truck manufacturer, or the trucking company.

Underride guards on big rigs often fail in crashes; Institute petitions government for new standard, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, March 1, 2011

Read the IIHS's petition (PDF)

Related Web Resources:

Large Truck Causation Study, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Underride Network

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