If you’ve ever seen a picture of an underride accident or witnessed one in person, then you don’t likely need anyone to tell you just how devastating they can be.
Data recently published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows that over 200 individuals lose their lives in these largely preventable crashes each year. It’s unclear how many more suffer what are undoubtedly catastrophic injuries.
What can be done to reduce underride accidents?
While the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requires trailers to come equipped with an underride guard, they often go uninspected. This leaves motorists vulnerable to sliding under them. A motorist may shear off their roof in the process, resulting in their debilitating injuries or immediate death.
Federal legislators in both houses introduced similar stop underride bills back in March. It’s unclear where support lies for this legislation. It’s important to note that a similar bill has been introduced twice before but hasn’t been able to muster majority support.
Many of the bill’s proponents argue that provisions listed in it would greatly reduce or eliminate these catastrophic accidents. Many opponents argue that the existing underride guards on the market are too expensive and not effective enough to warrant being made mandatory.
What are the most common outcomes of underride accidents?
These accidents are often deadly. Those who survive may be left with spinal cord or head injuries, amputations, and other catastrophic injuries that inhibit them from living the same life they were accustomed to.
You may be able to obtain compensation to help cover the significant medical bills that you’re sure to have if you suffer injuries in an underride crash or to cover funeral costs and other losses suffered due to a loved one’s untimely passing. You’ll want to take time to learn more about your rights after an injury or fatal accident so that you can take aggressive action in your case to recover the compensation that you’re due.