New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is making another attempt to push legislation that mandates safety requirements for large trucks and has the potential to save hundreds of lives each year. According to a CBS news report, Gillibrand, a Democrat of New York and Florida GOP Senator Marco Rubio will reintroduce the Stop Underrides Act for the third time. This legislation would require guards on the sides and front of all new tractor trailers and update safety standards for underride guards on the rear of trucks to protect other vehicles around them.
Why Underride Crashes Are Devastating
Underride crashes occur say, for instance when a passenger vehicle gets crushed under the side or rear of a large truck. Large commercial truck trailers and straight bed trucks are often high enough off the ground that during a collision a smaller vehicle may get trapped underneath the truck. In many underride accidents, the roofs of the cars involved are sheared off, resulting in horrific injuries to its occupants.
Side underride accidents happen when a vehicle slides under the side of a semi-truck trailer. Rear underride accidents occur when the other vehicle runs under the rear end of the truck or trailer. These incidents often occur when a poorly marked truck is parked on the side of a road or when a truck is illegally parked.
Statistics highlight the devastation these types of accidents can cause. According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), in 2019 alone, more than 850 people died in crashes with the side or rear of a semi-truck. IIHS estimates 80% of the nearly 7,000 deaths from crashes with the side or the rear of a big rig that occurred in the period between 2005 and 2015 involved some type of underride where a car ended up under the semi or its trailer. Underride accidents can be catastrophic even at low speeds because the trailer’s undercarriage may tear through the passenger cabin resulting in severe head and neck injuries to occupants or even decapitation.
How This Law Can Help
Gillibrand said the bill would enact “critical, commonsense changes” that may be life-saving. Requiring effective truck underride guards is one of the “best and easiest solutions” to prevent these types of truck accidents, she said. Side underride guards have been required by the European Union since 2003. However, they are not required on U.S. roads.
A 2012 IIHS study found strong side underride guards might potentially reduce injury risk in about three-fourths of cases where a passenger vehicle occupant sustained a serious injury from an impact with the side of a large truck. While safety advocates overwhelmingly support this legislation, critics maintain the weight of the new guards may force trucking companies to reduce their payloads, which may lead to more trucks on the road.
Protecting Your Legal Rights
Victims who have been injured in truck accidents may be able to seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost income and benefits, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. Families of deceased accident victims may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for damages such as lost future income, funeral costs, medical expenses, pain and suffering, etc.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, or if you have lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident caused by a negligent (careless) driver, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
For over 49 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims. Our law firm recently recovered $5,600,000 for a bicyclist who was hit by a van, and $2,550,000 for another victim of a truck accident, and $3,000,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by a car, and the full $1,000,000 insurance policy for a pedestrian who was hit by a truck, and $4,625,000 for a driver who was in a car and was hit by a van, and $2,500,000 for a man who fell through an improperly secured hole. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and/or medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com