Truck Underride Collision Attorneys NJ
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The two kinds of underride collisions, side and rear, are both incredibly treacherous for drivers and passengers in cars. Underride collisions are among the most dangerous kinds of truck accidents in New Jersey.
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In a side underride collision, the car hits the side of a large truck or the trailer portion of a tractor-trailer. This incredibly dangerous situation in which the car passes under the trailer can raze the top off the car and severely injure, disfigure or kill those inside. This type of underride collision can happen whenever a truck is perpendicular to traffic and drivers are not expecting it to be there. For instance, a truck making a U-turn or a wide turn onto a side road or that has jackknifed can create this situation.
While it seems a large truck would be hard to miss, certain factors can make it difficult to see the truck, especially if it is across traffic where drivers are not expecting it. Oncoming light in a driver's eyes can make it challenging to see nearby and less lit objects. Sunset is a difficult time for drivers facing west, and headlights of oncoming traffic can have the same effect. Poor reflectivity on the broadside of the truck does not help. Certain colors are more difficult to spot, especially if they blend into the background, and a still object is more difficult to see than a moving one. Essentially, trucks can become camouflaged in the environment, and this can make it hard for motorists to identify a hazard before it is too late.
Rear Underride Collisions
A rear underride collision can occur for many of the same reasons, but certain types of loads are more prone to this type of accident. Trucks hauling loads that protrude from the rear of the trailer, such as lumber or long beams, are more likely to be rear-ended by another vehicle. Trucks should have reflective material along the bottom edge of the trailer as well as working lights. Reflective triangles on the back of long loads can reduce underride collisions.
One way to prevent rear-end collisions from becoming underride accidents is to install more powerful guards underneath trailers. When a rear impact guard works properly, the car striking it will not slide underneath the trailer. Some of the guards currently used by U.S. trucking companies can fail at speeds as low as 35 mph. Instead of being stopped by the guard, the smaller vehicle is able to continue underneath the trailer without a significant reduction of speed. Canada requires rear-impact barriers that are 75 percent stronger than those used in the United States.
Whether or not the government enforces stricter requirements on rear impact guards, all riders can do their part to reduce the number of underride collisions by practicing safe riding habits. It is important to never tailgate a large truck and to remain attentive. If you are looking down at your phone, for example, you may not react in time to changes in the flow of traffic. Your ability to react to changing roadway conditions is your best defense when it comes to avoiding a rear-end collision.
If you have been involved in an underride collision, the legal team at Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. can help. Our New Jersey truck collision lawyers take a limited number of cases so we can give our undivided attention to our current clients. We have experience representing victims of some of the most horrific accidents that left victims with massive injuries or killed a loved one. You are already trying to navigate life after a major loss, and you need someone to fight for you. Call us for a free consultation today.
- Front Crash Prevention May Be Required for Large Trucks
- The Effectiveness of Underride Guards for Heavy Trailers - NHTSA
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