Underride Guard Regulations: Legal Advocacy by a Miami Truck Accident Attorney

Unfortunately, deficiencies remain, and accidents occur. Therefore, it’s essential to know the regulations and seek the legal advocacy of an experienced Miami truck accident attorney.

Underride accidents occur when a passenger car collides with the rear or sides of a large truck and becomes wedged underneath its body. These crashes are particularly dangerous because of the potential for roof shearing and passenger compartment intrusion, leading to devastating injuries or fatalities for the smaller vehicle’s occupants. This is why trucking companies are required by law to install underride guard barriers. 

These barriers mounted on the rear and sides of trucks are designed to prevent vehicles from sliding underneath them in the event of a collision. Underride barriers can help absorb impact forces when adequately designed and installed, minimizing the risk of catastrophic injuries by preventing passenger compartments from being crushed or penetrated. 

Underride Barrier Regulations

In 1996, the NHTSA mandated that all trucking companies install rear underride guards. During rear-end crashes, these guards prevent passenger vehicles from sliding under the truck’s back. However, after two years, these regulations were expanded to include all commercial trucks weighing 100,000 lbs and more. 

Similarly, trucking companies must adhere to the Stop Underride Act. This act was introduced to lower the risk of accidents caused by the side impact. It required trucking companies to conform to several new safety standards, including:

  • Install high-quality rear underride barriers for better protection.
  • Install underride barriers on the truck’s sides and front for protection beyond rear-end impacts.
  • The guards should be capable of preventing vehicles traveling at thirty-five miles/hour from sliding under it.
  • Periodic inspections of underride barriers must be done to ensure they remain effective.

Underride Barriers: Challenges & Deficiencies

Underride guards often fail to provide sufficient protection despite existing regulations in certain circumstances, highlighting several key challenges and deficiencies.

Weaknesses in Design

Some underride guards are inadequately designed or constructed, compromising their ability to withstand impact forces effectively. The materials used in these guards may not be robust enough, or the design may not account for the dynamics of a crash, leading to guard failure upon impact. This can result in passenger vehicles sliding under trucks despite the presence of guards, causing severe injuries or fatalities.

Maintenance Issues

The effectiveness of underride guards heavily depends on proper installation and regular maintenance. Improperly installed guards or those not adequately maintained can deteriorate over time, reducing their ability to perform during a collision. For example, rust, wear and tear, or damage from previous incidents can compromise the structural integrity of the guards. These issues can leave vehicles vulnerable to underride accidents without routine inspections and timely repairs.

Regulatory Enforcement

Many trucking companies may not conform to the regulations, which may result in them not meeting safety standards, increasing the risk of underride accidents. 

Seek Legal Advocacy 

If you have sustained injuries in a truck underride accident, seek legal advocacy. A Miami truck accident attorney is crucial in advocating for stronger underride guard regulations and enforcing compliance with existing standards. Once you hire a lawyer, they will:

Investigate the Accident

An in-depth investigation helps determine the cause of underride accidents and identifies regulatory violations or negligence by trucking companies or manufacturers.

Hold Negligent Parties Accountable

Your Miami truck accident attorney will pursue legal action against negligent parties responsible for underride accidents. They will negotiate with insurers and responsible parties to secure fair settlements. This is needed to seek compensation for victims’ medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages. It also ensures you receive the compensation you deserve without needing prolonged legal battles.

Litigation

Litigation is the next step if a fair settlement cannot be reached. Your attorney will present compelling arguments, cross-examine witnesses, and navigate complex legal proceedings precisely and skillfully. They will go above and beyond to achieve the best possible outcome.

Contact Our Truck Accident Attorney Now!

So, what are you waiting for? Have you been injured in an underride truck accident? Contact our Miami truck accident attorney today to schedule a free consultation and legal representation. We can help you receive the compensation you rightfully deserve.

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