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Importance of Rear Underride Protection

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are over 200,000 truck crashes each year that fatally wound over 4,000 people and severely injure more than 100,000.
Of these crashes, 19 percent are collisions where a passenger vehicle collides with the back end of a semi-truck. These crashes are devastating and frequently fatal, because the car is literally forced under the truck, cutting the top half of the car off.

In order to prevent a rear underride collision, trucks are required to have underride safety guards to prevent vehicles from sliding under the trailers. Since the installation of proper guards was required by law in 1996, underride fatalities have decreased by 20 percent.

Jenkins Utley, P.C. are experienced trucking accident attorneys you can rely on.

What is an Underride Trucking Accident?

An underride trucking accident happens when a vehicle is forced underneath the trailer of a semi-truck. The front end of a typical passenger car is on average 30 inches from the ground at its highest point. With the bottom of a truck trailer being 45 inches from the ground, the bed of the trailer can easily reach the windshield of the passenger cabin during a collision, increasing the risk of facial/head injuries and death.

To lessen the blow of the collision, rear underride guards are required to be installed on the back of every trailer. These guards extend beneath the trailer—to the height of an average car’s bumper—and are designed to prevent smaller vehicles from slipping underneath the trailer in the event of an accident.

Underride protection guards are made of basic metal bars that attach to the underside of semi-trailers. They have two main functions:

  • Act as a barrier: Rear underride crashes usually occur because a truck trailer is higher off the ground than a passenger vehicle’s front end. Therefore, when a truck stops suddenly, a car can easily fit underneath a truck’s trailer. Having a guard placed on the same axis level as passenger vehicles prevents the car from passing the barrier to slide under.
  • Absorb impact: During an underride collision, the front bumper, engine block, and front axis, which would typically help absorb some of the shock during a collision, is completely bypassed as it slides under the trailer. With guards, the impact force is exerted where it can be managed—at the front of the vehicle—instead of at the windshield near the driver’s face.

Call the Personal Injury Attorneys at Jenkins Utley, P.C. in the Event of an Accident

Although underride protection guards can drastically lessen your chance of a fatality when involved in a rear truck collision, severe injuries can still occur.

If you have been injured during an accident—whether or not the truck had rear underride protection—you should speak with an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Underride accidents can be caused by various types of negligence, and victims could be eligible for compensation for their losses.

Contact Jenkins Utley, P.C., a local and compassionate truck accident law firm based in Atlanta, Georgia, to discuss your case, today. Schedule your consultation today by calling (404) 334-3013 or contact us via our online contact form.