On Behalf of | Jan 16, 2024 | Truck Accidents |

The underlying cause of most motor vehicle collisions is driver error.  While environmental factors and vehicle issues cause a small number of wrecks, most crashes occur due to bad decisions by drivers. When looking at semi-truck collisions in particular, a large portion of the crashes between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles occur because of something that a driver does wrong. Maintaining a speed that is too high, getting too close to other vehicles or improperly gauging the space needed for a turn could all cause preventable crashes.

Transportation companies do not always have control over what their drivers do. They can help prevent crashes by carefully selecting employees, offering appropriate training and having company policies that align with federal regulations. They could also decrease the severity of the crashes that do occur by ensuring the installation of proper safety equipment on their fleet.

Most underride crashes are preventable

Although trucking companies cannot prevent a semi-truck driver from striking a passenger vehicle or a passenger vehicle from colliding with a commercial truck, they can help prevent the worst-case scenarios when those crashes occur. Federal regulations currently require rear underride guards on the trailers of semi-trucks.

An underride guard is a metal bar that helps prevent a smaller vehicle from going under the trailer in a rear-end collision. While there is plenty of research showing that stronger and wider rear underride guards are the most effective, weaker models are sometimes chosen for cost reasons.

Additionally, some companies may not install side underride guards despite their importance for collision safety. Side underride guards are metal sheets that prevent smaller vehicles from passing under the side of a trailer between the axles. They are both an immediate cost for the company to purchase and a source of increased fuel expenses due to their weight, so some trucking companies prefer to budget elsewhere.

Those affected by severe collisions may have the option of filing an insurance claim or pursuing a personal injury lawsuit in some cases. Holding a transportation company accountable for poor fleet maintenance could potentially provide families with economic justice while – under certain circumstances – motivating more companies to invest in better safety equipment.