Tractor-trailers, 18 wheelers, and other types of large trucks create significant hazards on the road. Limited visibility and slower response times increase the risk of truck accidents while their massive size and bulk increase the risk of fatal injuries for other drivers involved. Safety measures, such as underride guards, protect motorists when these types of crashes do occur, and additional side guards are being considered. Unfortunately, transportation officials claim these guards are not strong enough. A recent fatal crash in Portland highlights the potential dangers.
Driver Killed in Rear-End Collision Involving Truck
A truck accident claimed the life of a Portland man recently and local police are still investigating to determine the underlying causes. According to a June 21, 2019 report by KOIN News, the collision happened just after 8 p.m. near 122nd Avenue. A driver in a red Toyota was approaching in the westbound lanes when he crashed into the back of a truck in front of him. Witnesses reported heavy damage to the front end of the man’s vehicle, which may have ended up going slightly underneath the rear of the truck.
Any type of crash or collision involving a truck is likely to be potentially deadly for motor vehicle drivers and their passengers. Rear-end collisions are particularly dangerous. Trucks tend to sit so high off the ground, and there is the risk that a car will go underneath it on impact. To prevent these types of accidents, trucks are required to have rear guards, which are metal bars designed to prevent underride accidents. Unfortunately, safety officials claim these bars are not always strong enough to provide motorists with adequate protection.
The Need for Side Guards and Stronger Underride Guards
The death of a Hollywood starlet in 1967 is credited with spurring the need for underride guards on trucks and tractor-trailers. Jayne Mansfield and her manager were killed in a fatal crash when the car they were driving slammed into the rear of a truck and slid underneath, peeling back the roof of the vehicle and nearly beheading both people in the front seat. According to Car and Driver, this spurred transportation officials to create ‘Mansfield bars’ to prevent similar accidents in the future.
Today, all trucks are required by federal law to have underride guards while new legislation aims at requiring side guards as well. However, an April 2019 report by the U.S Government Accountability Office claims the metal being used in the guards is not strong enough to stand up against impacts or to keep drivers from suffering potentially life-threatening injuries.
Contact Us Today for Help
Truck accidents are complex events, with numerous factors responsible for the injuries you suffer. The driver, the company they work for, and the truck manufacturer may all be held accountable when a collision occurs. If you or someone you love has been involved in this type of crash, get the trusted, professional legal representation you need in seeking compensation. Call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland truck accident attorneys online and request a consultation today.