South Florida, particularly Miami and Fort Lauderdale, is a popular destination
for a variety of large commercial trucks and big rigs. From organic produce
to hazardous chemicals, commercial trucks populate the freeways and highways
throughout South Florida. The mere presence of these 80,000 pound big
rigs on the roads increases the risk of catastrophic accidents, so the
Federal Motor Carrier Administration has enacted specific rules and regulations
designed to improve safety and visibility. One of those regulations includes
the installation and use of rear impact guards.
Rear-impact guards are designed to prevent a motor vehicle from sliding
underneath the back of the commercial truck in a rear-impact accident.
Unfortunately, even when a rear impact guard meets U.S. standards, they
often fail, leading to fatal trucking accidents.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety put rear-impact guards to the
test this year and the results were rather disturbing. At just 35 mph,
the rear-impact guard on many commercial trucks gave way, allowing the
car to slide underneath the carrier, sheering off the top of the car,
and crushing the occupants inside.
Just how deadly are these types of
trucking accidents? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reviewed data from
2008 and found that of the 539 vehicles that struck the back of big rigs
or semi-trucks, there were 532 fatalities.
Causes of Underride Trucking Accidents
There are many reasons an underride trucking accident can occur due to
a trucking company or truck driver’s negligence. Some of those causes include:
- No rear impact guard installed on back of truck
- Impact guard installed that did not meet U.S. standards
- No reflectors or reflective tape on back of truck
- Dirt or mud covered reflectors
- Broken taillights
- Inexperienced truck drivers
- Truck driver inattention
Contact South Florida’s Trucking Accident Attorneys
If you or someone you love has been injured in a trucking accident in South
Florida, you need an experienced trucking accident lawyer on your side
to fight the large trucking companies. The attorneys at Kelley/Uustal
have been successfully fighting for the rights of injured trucking accident
victims in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Palm Beach, Broward County, and throughout
South Florida for decades. To learn more about your legal options, call
our accident attorneys at (954) 522-6601 for a