How Large Trucks Parked On the Roadside Can Lead to Underride Accidents
Large trucks, such as tractor-trailers, are often involved in accidents, especially on Florida interstates and other major roadways. Accidents involving these motor vehicles are typically catastrophic, resulting in serious injuries or even death. One of the most serious of these are underride accidents.
Underride Accident Described
Large trucks have large tires, which causes the body of the truck to sit higher up than most smaller types of motor vehicles. When a collision occurs between a truck and a smaller vehicle, the smaller vehicle actually slides beneath the large trucks. While this usually happens when the smaller vehicle hits the truck from behind, it can also occur when the smaller vehicle slams the larger truck from the side.
The United States Government Accountability Office states that from 2008 through 2017 an average of 219 fatalities from underride crashes involving large trucks occurred per year. However, they believe that this number is likely too low due to underreporting by state and local governments.
When these accidents occur, the first instinct is to assume the person driving the smaller vehicle is at fault as they are the one that hits and goes under the body of the truck. However, this is not true in many cases. There are situations where the truck driver, or the company they drive for, may be held responsible. One of these situations is when the truck is parked on the side of the road.
Parked Trucks & Underride Accidents
Large trucks should only be parked on the side of the road when there is an emergency. Even then, truck drivers should take extra precautions to ensure the safety of themselves and other motorists. They should also move the truck to a safer place as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, large trucks are often parked on the side of the road for reasons of convenience, such as to allow the driver to rest. With proper planning and realistic scheduling, large trucks should not often be found parked on roadways.
What Happens When a Car and a Trailers’ Underride Bar Collide
How To Prevent Underride Accidents with Parked Trucks
There are precautions that can be taken by truck drivers to prevent an underride accident. This includes:
- Making The Truck Visible: Especially at night, it is often difficult for other drivers to see the truck. Truck drivers should take steps to make their truck more visible, such as keeping the marker lights on after dark, turning on flashing hazard lights, and setting out flares and reflective triangles.
- Leaving as Much Space as Possible: When forced to pull onto the shoulder of a roadway, the truck driver should park as far as possible away from the actual road. They should also avoid parking on curves.
Talk with a Florida Truck Accident Attorney at Clark Fountain
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident with a large truck, contact the personal injury lawyers at Clark Fountain. Our firm has extensive experience assisting people that have been injured in automobile accidents. You may contact us by calling 561-899-2100 or via our contact page.