California 18-Wheeler Accidents: Are Tractor-Trailer Defects Putting You At Risk?When you bought your car, you may have checked safety ratings looking for the very best option to keep you and your loved ones safe. But, even the safest of cars are vulnerable in a California tractor-trailer accident.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an average of 423 people in passenger vehicles die each year when their vehicles rear-ends a commercial trucks; an additional 5,000 people are injured.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently conducted a series of tests in which passenger vehicles rear-ended the backs of some of the most popular models of 18-wheelers. What the IIHS found is that tractor-trailers are failing to meet basic safety requirements although they are certified to U.S. and Canadian safety standards. This puts car passengers at risk.
The IIHS chose to test Hyundai, Vanguard and Wabash trailers because they are the most common trailers used in the United States.
In many cases, the guard rail on the truck was too high allowing underride accidents to occur. Underride accidents refer to motor vehicle crashes that occur when a vehicle's front end slides underneath another vehicle. This most often occurs in rear-end collisions. Underride accidents are likely to be fatal as there is a serious threat of decapitation as the trucks rear encroaches into the passenger cabin.
The 2010 Chevy Malibu is an IIHS top safety pick. When the 2010 Chevrolet Malibu was tested in a 35 M.P.H. rear-end crash, the guard rail on the trucks often failed causing intrusion of the truck into the interior compartment of the passenger vehicle.
Even the strongest guards tested were only effective when the car hit was dead-on center.
Current government regulations do not require that the underride guard rail, trailer, bolts and welding application be tested under one system. In addition, many semi-trucks are allowed to operate without guard rails.
If you have lost a loved one in a California 18-wheeler crash, the truck design may have contributed to your loved ones death. To learn about your right to seek compensation and accountability, contact Allen, Flatt, Ballidis and Leslie at 866-981-5596 and ask to speak to an Orange County trucking accident lawyer. .
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