Underride accidents are some of the most serious truck collisions, but all truck crashes can be deadly. One tragic Texas accident in which an 18-wheeler and another vehicle became entangled serves as a grim reminder of how truck crashes can often cause much more harm than other types of motor vehicle accidents. It is not just truckers who are at risk of serious or fatal injuries in collisions either. A truck accident lawyer knows that often motorists in other vehicles involved in truck crashes are the ones who lose their lives. These victims should pursue claims for damages in situations where they can prove the trucker caused the accident.
Deadly Truck Accident A Grim Reminder of Truck Crash Risks
The recent Texas truck accident involving the 18-wheeler left two adults, two children, and one unborn child dead. The driver of the truck was not injured in the crash. Investigators are still trying to determine what occurred, according to NBC. When first responders approached the vehicles, they found one vehicle wedged underneath the 18-wheeler.
The incident caused a fire to erupt because the car that slide underneath the 18-wheeler punctured the trucks' gas tank. A third vehicle that had been involved in the three-car crash was destroyed in the resulting fire. The truck was carrying lumber, which spilled out of the vehicle onto the overpass bridge and onto the ground below it.
Underride accidents are dangerous not only because of the risk to passengers and drivers in the car that slides under the truck, but also because of the potential for fires to break out-- as occurred in this accident. According to reports from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in 2011, underride guards in tractor trailers commonly fail when crashes happen. In light of crash test results showing these guards did not prevent cars from sliding under trucks, even in low-speed crashes, IIHS petitioned the federal government to impose new regulations requiring stronger underride guards that would be more likely to stay in place when collisions happen.
Stronger underride guards are some of the many safety features that could help make motorists safer as they share the roads with trucks. In 2009, there were 3,163 people killed in large truck crashes and 70 percent of the victims were people in other cars and not in the truck. This recent tragic Texas accident that took five lives is yet another example of a situation where passengers were harmed as a result of a collision with a truck.
Truck drivers need to be aware of the risk that their large vehicles present to other motorists. In addition to the potential for underride crashes, rollover and jackknife truck accidents are also especially likely to be deadly. Truck drivers should exercise reasonable care at all times to ensure they are operating their vehicles in a safe manner in order to reduce possible dangers. This means driving within the speed limit, balancing loads carefully, avoiding distractions, and following all safety regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.