Although all semi-trucks have rear guards for preventing underride accidents, trailer side guards are generally absent. Without side guards in place, an impacting car in a side collision with the trailer can result in a catastrophic underride truck accident. This hazard is further exacerbated by these dangerous habits of some inexperienced and negligent truck drivers:
Semi-trucks must have lights and reflectors on the sides of their trailers for increased night visibility. Failure to replace burnt out lights and missing reflectors increases the risk of nighttime underride accidents. Equally dangerous is failing to keep these lights and reflectors clear of mud and dirt.
Backing Maneuvers on High-Speed Roads
Because of their long length, semi-trucks are clumsy at backing maneuvers. Inexperienced and negligent drivers may attempt backing into a parking lot or driveway from a busy, high-speed roadway. The danger is further increased when backing in bad road conditions such as in fog or at night. Some drivers may attempt this near a blind curve or hill. This maneuver exposes the unprotected side of the trailer to oncoming traffic.
U-Turn Maneuvers on Roadways
Semi-trucks are also poorly suited to making U-turns on two lane roadways. Such a dangerous maneuver is generally illegal for all types of vehicles. Semi-trucks attempting this, expose roadway traffic to possible underride truck accidents. Truck drivers can easily avoid this maneuver by turning around in parking lots or going around a city block. Truck drivers using roads not intended for semi-trucks may be forced into a U-turn in order to avoid an overpass with insufficient height clearance.
Some aggressive truck drivers entering a highway from a side street, may force oncoming traffic to yield by cutting them off. This dangerous tactic can cause an underride accident when the traffic has insufficient braking distance for the road conditions. Distracted drivers may fail to react in time.
Truck drivers who fail to drive with reasonable care endanger the welfare of the public. If you were injured in a truck accident because of negligence or recklessness, our lawyers can review your case to learn who is liable. Contact us for more information.