In South Carolina and throughout the United States, truck accidents are a common concern. Since these large vehicles are so prevalent, travel at significant speeds and are sometimes operated by drivers who ignore laws for safety, legislators and law enforcement try to implement and enforce safety rules to avoid injuries and fatalities. One issue that frequently comes up is when passenger vehicles collide with trucks and go underneath them. Referred to as “underride” accidents, these are highly dangerous. Congress is trying to enact a law to address these concerns.
Bipartisan proposal hopes to reduce underride accidents
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) says that in 2019, there were 850 deaths in underride accidents in which the vehicle went under the truck – an underride crash – across the U.S. Senators Gillibrand from New York and Rubio from Florida introduced the “Stop Underrides Act.” Prior attempts to pass the law in different forms have failed. Current law mandates that trucks have rear guards to prevent vehicles from going underneath them in a collision.
If the new law is passed, it will require these guards in the front and sides. The rear-guard laws would be tightened as well. Citing the number of people who suffer injuries to the head and neck even in slow speed crashes, Senator Gillibrand emphasized the importance of the law. At high speeds, people can be decapitated. Senator Rubio notes that his state of Florida ranks near the top in underride fatalities. Despite the reasons presented, truckers and groups representing them oppose this law due to its cost and that they think it compromises safety rather than improves it.
Experienced advice can be crucial after truck accidents
An underride accident is just one way in which people can suffer catastrophic injuries and lose their lives in a truck crash. Truckers could behave recklessly, be under the influence, drive while distracted and ignore the rules for how long they can stay on the road at one time.
For those who have been hurt in truck accidents, there can be a long hospitalization, massive medical costs and long-term problems. A fatality will leave a family wondering how to move forward after an unexpected death. Receiving compensation might hinge on the evidence and liability. To pursue compensation from the driver, the truck company, the vehicle manufacturer and other entities, it is wise to have professional advice from the start to determine the preferable course of action.