Federal and state laws mandate that car and SUV manufacturers equip their vehicles with safety features to prevent serious injuries. However, despite the heightened dangers of large commercial trucks, many of these vehicles do not have the same safety features. Further, the safety standards do not always address the scope of the vehicle’s dangers. As such, Florida accidents involving large trucks often result in serious and fatal injuries.
For example, a recent Florida news report described a disturbing underride accident involving a minivan and tractor-trailer. The accident occurred when the semi-truck was turning onto a roadway near State Road 520. The minivan was turning at the same time and went underneath the truck. Emergency personnel immediately removed two of the minivan occupants and transported them to a hospital. The minivan driver required assistance from firefighters to extricate her from her vehicle. State Police reported that the accident is still under investigation.
Many Florida trucking collisions involve underride accidents. An underride accident occurs when a smaller vehicle slams into the side or backend of a truck’s trailer and slides underneath. The shape and design of the back of a truck often cause a smaller vehicle to become trapped underneath. The sheer impact of these accidents may result in the top of the car ripping off or becoming crushed. As a result, the car’s occupants often suffer the brunt of the initial impact. Underride accident victims rarely leave the accident unscathed. These accidents typically result in traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, internal organ damage, sprained and broken bones, paralysis, and disfigurement.
Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires underride guards on most commercial trucks, these guards are often insufficient. The guards attach to the back of the truck’s trailer and provide a barrier to reduce the likelihood of a vehicle sliding underneath the truck. However, safety proponents argue that Congress should mandate further protections to address the extent of the dangers, including dangers associated with side underride accidents.
Drivers traveling around large trucks should engage in enhanced safe driving tactics to avoid an accident. Motorists should consider the vehicles’ size around them and factor in blind spots when making turns or passing these large trucks. Drivers should also keep additional room for braking to avoid an underride accident.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney in Florida
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries or died in a Florida trucking accident, contact the attorneys at Friedman Rodman Frank & Estrada, P.A. The dedicated South Florida injury attorneys at our office have over 100 years of combined experience handling claims stemming from car, truck, and boating accidents, slip-and-falls, construction accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, and nursing home abuse. We understand the stress and emotional toll that trucking accidents cause. As such, we provide our clients with respect, compassion, and zealous representation. We have recovered substantial amounts of compensation on behalf of our clients through our skills, resources, and tools. Contact our office at 877-448-8585, to discuss your rights and remedies after a trucking accident.