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Duffy & Feemster

Truck Underride Accidents Explained

Hi. I'm Dwight Feemster. I'm an attorney in Savannah, George and I practice for the law firm Duffy & Feemster. Today I want to talk to you about trucking accidents and in particular, I want talking about trucking accidents that we in legal profession call refer to as underride cases. These cases are called underride cases because, unfortunately, the passenger vehicle drives up underneath the trailer of a tractor-trailer. The collision occurred between the underside, the low side of the trailer, about three or four feet above the ground, possibly, and the windshield of the passenger vehicle. The result is the side of the trailer invades the passenger compartment around the head and shoulders are the victims. As you can see on this photograph the results can be catastrophic and horrible. 

These cases often happen at night and the issue at nighttime cases is called conspicuousity, we refer to it as a conspicuousity issue. The issue here is the fact that there is reflective tape required to be placed at the bottom of the trailer according to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. The tape is designed to, and does, reflect your headlights as a vehicle approaches the trailer. The problem is that when a tractor trailer is backing into a location that the reflective tape, at angles of more to 75 degrees do not reflect light back with passenger vehicle. As can be seen in this video, as you approach a tractor-trailer backing up across your land of travel you're not able to ascertain or see the presence of the reflective tape until you're almost on top of the trailer. 

This is a dangerous situation and also the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and the Georgia Department that regulates truck drivers also encourage truck drivers not to back up if at all possible. As you can see in the video we just looked at the backing is a problem. The truck driver is often also focusing on looking at his back tires to say they go where he wants to go and is not able to keep his eyes on approaching traffic so that he can be aware that traffic is approaching. Again, the results are catastrophic.

The situation happens in reverse when a truck driver makes a left hand turn across traffic. I've had cases where trucks have made left hand turns in dark circumstances and with the individuals approaching, the tractor-trailer had been extended completely across their lane of travel and they were unable to see until last minute and they drove up underneath the trailer with catastrophic results. If you or a loved one has been injured trucking accident call us at 912-236-6311 or go to website www.DuffyFeemster.com

Dwight T. Feemster
Dwight is a civil and criminal attorney in Georgia.

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