Truck Guardrail Standards May Not Prevent Georgia Underride Accidents

According to the Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Analysis Division, 31 percent of large truck accidents in 2009 were caused by truck driver-related factors including speeding, distracted driving and failing to maintain the proper lane. If you are the victim of a truck accident it is important to have an experienced attorney who can get the proper compensation.

According to a report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), trucking industry standards for trailer guards may not prevent underride accidents. Truck underride accidents occur when a car slides under a truck rather than being stopped by the truck's body during an accident. Federal law established underride guard standards for certain newer large trucks though side guards are not required.

The IIHS study found that the guardrails may fail when only a portion of the rear of the truck; the guardrails proved more effective when the impact was squarely in the center of the guard. The study involved passenger vehicles traveling at 35 mph colliding with parked tractor trailers manufactured by eight companies. The guardrails performed well in collisions where the car struck the middle of the guardrails. When the automobile struck at least half of the truck's rear (thus, half of the guardrail), all but one of the guardrails prevented the car from continuing under the truck. However, guardrails were not effective when the automobile struck the truck at an angle, thus striking only 30 percent of the guardrail. In such cases all but one of the guardrails allowed the automobile to slide under the truck, causing the car's roof to crumple. In several cases the rail provided no protection to the automobile. The IIHS has called for new guardrail standards to be imposed on large truck manufacturers.

If you or someone you know has been hurt by a distracted truck driver, meet with a truck accident lawyer at Shane Smith Law. We can assist in every stage of the case including obtaining the available evidence, so give us a call for an appointment today at (980) 246-2656.

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