Tractor Trailer Underride Accidents.

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What is a Tractor Trailer Underride Accident?

Tractor-Trailer underride accidents occur when a passenger vehicle, usuallyrepparttar front ofrepparttar 119237 passenger vehicle, enters belowrepparttar 119238 base ofrepparttar 119239 trailer of a large truck (e.g., 18-wheeler). This is particularly possible with small family passenger cars (as opposed to a mini-van or SUV). Unfortunately,repparttar 119240 height ofrepparttar 119241 front ofrepparttar 119242 car is insufficient to contactrepparttar 119243 bed ofrepparttar 119244 truck, often 10 to 20 inches belowrepparttar 119245 bed ofrepparttar 119246 truck. This putsrepparttar 119247 bed ofrepparttar 119248 truck right atrepparttar 119249 head-chest level ofrepparttar 119250 passengers withinrepparttar 119251 car. Injuries in these accidents tend to be catastrophic, if not fatal.

Why doesn'trepparttar 119252 driver just slow down to prevent an underride accident?

A tractor-trailer truck is pretty big... so why doesn'trepparttar 119253 car driver seerepparttar 119254 tractor trailer in time to prevent a underride accident?

Unfortunately, perception and reality meet too late in these circumstances. Oftenrepparttar 119255 driver is fooled into thinking thatrepparttar 119256 roadway is clear. Simply,repparttar 119257 passenger car driver does not have adequate warning ofrepparttar 119258 impending trailer underride danger.

What is being done to improve driver perception or trailer safety?

Since 1993, trucks must have a special type of reflective tape onrepparttar 119259 rear and sides ofrepparttar 119260 trailer. Since 1996, trucks must also be equiped with a rear underride guard (strong metal structure) at a height of 22 inches aboverepparttar 119261 ground, so that it will easily come in contact withrepparttar 119262 engine block of a small car, and thus preventrepparttar 119263 car from underridingrepparttar 119264 bed ofrepparttar 119265 tractor truck trailer. However, it is sad news that many trucks have not been retrofitted. Thus, many tractor trailer trucks manufactured before 1996 are onrepparttar 119266 road without these two critical safety features. In addition, even ones that have had these features installed may have insufficient protective qualities, such as an inadequate amount of reflective material or a rear underride guard that is too weak to prevent underride ofrepparttar 119267 passenger vehicle.

What are other factors that play into a rear underride accident

Weather. Especially fog, snow, or rain that reducesrepparttar 119268 distance of visibility. Fog and snow are a huge problem, since they often maskrepparttar 119269 grey or white color of many trucks.

Heavy Truck Accidents and Unneccessary Deaths and Serious Injuries

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by: Michael Monheit, Esquire of Monheit Law, P.C. Toll Free: 866-761-1385

How common are injuries from heavy truck accidents?

An accident involving a heavy truck, 18-wheeler, semi, big tractor-trailer truck, often results in death or serious injury. The statistics are shocking. Over 1 million people were involved in nearly 500,000 large truck related accidents in 1999. That resulted in over 5,000 deaths and over 140,000 injuries. Of those injuries from heavy truck accidents, 10's of thousands involved severe brain damage orrepparttar loss of limb. Some trucks weigh over 100,000 lbs when fully loaded. Unloaded, they still weigh over 10,000 lbs. That is 5-10 timesrepparttar 119236 weight of a car.

This problem of heavy truck accidents has been around for years, andrepparttar 119237 data is consistent over time. For example, according torepparttar 119238 Safety Board analysis of Fatal Accident Reporting System (FARS), in 1993 there were 3,311 heavy trucks involved in 3,169 fatal accidents, in which 3,783 persons died. The FARS report shows that heavy truck accidents are often caused by truckdriver fatigue. In fact, as many as 30 to 40 percent of all heavy truck accidents are caused by fatiuge ofrepparttar 119239 driver.

What isrepparttar 119240 cost to society of heavy truck accidents?

Injuries and fatalities are notrepparttar 119241 only toll inflicted by heavy truck crashes. For example,repparttar 119242 financial toll that goes along with such crashes impacts commerce, costs of insurance, costs of health care, and costs of good. The NTSB reports thatrepparttar 119243 actual cost of all heavy truck accidetns in 1999 was $34 billion.

What isrepparttar 119244 most likely cause of heavy truck accidents?

The NTSB said, "Because ofrepparttar 119245 significant number of heavy truck-related fatalities andrepparttar 119246 significant role of fatigue in such accidents,repparttar 119247 Board initiated this study of single-vehicle heavy truck accidents to examinerepparttar 119248 role of specific factors, such as drivers' patterns of duty and sleep, in fatigue-related heavy truck accidents and to determine potential remedial actions. The purpose ofrepparttar 119249 Board's study was to examinerepparttar 119250 factors that affect driver fatigue and notrepparttar 119251 statistical incidence of fatigue. Therefore,repparttar 119252 Board specifically selected truck accidents that were likely to include fatigue-related accidents; that is, single-vehicle accidents that tend to occur at night. The Board desired to obtain approximately an equal number of fatigue-related and nonfatigue-related accidents through its notification process." The most common causes of heavy trucks accidents are:

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