Underride and override truck accidents are among the most deadly accidents on the road. Due to the size of the truck, passenger vehicles are most often crushed in the accident.
Underrride accidents are when a passenger vehicle crashes into and continues beneath a truck. When this happens, the top of the vehicle is shorn off by the side or rear of the trailer, often resulting in decapitation. An override accident occurs when the truck rides over the vehicle. Many override accidents involve more than just one passenger vehicle getting crushed by the front of the truck, as it will run over everything in its path.
Override accidents can be the result of:
- Brake failure
- Tire blowout
- Driver fatigue
- Reckless driving
Underride accidents may be due to the passenger vehicle tailgating a truck that suddenly stops, or is not able to see the end of the trailer. Many underride accidents occur at dawn or dusk, when the light is at its worst.
In 1993, the government mandated all new tractor trailers be equipped with reflective tape along the sides and back of the trailer to prevent underride accidents. Another regulation issued a couple of years later by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated all new tractor trailers be equipped with a guard to prevent underride accidents. Unfortunately, there was no requirement made to retrofit older trucks.
Federal trucking laws require that all trucks, at a minimum, have:
- Working taillights and hazard lights
- Reflective tape
- Brakes inspected regularly
Trucks should also keep a safe distance from the vehicles around them, and be aware of those that may be trying to pass or change lanes. However, passenger vehicles also need to drive defensively and be wary of trucks on the road, especially during bad weather.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an underride or override accident in the Orlando, Florida area, please contact the experienced underride truck accident attorney at Best Law Firm Florida P.A. today.