A 22-year-old woman narrowly escaped serious injury when her car was pinned under an 18-wheeler. According to a My Fox Atlanta news report, the truck accident occurred on Interstate 85 near Hamilton Mill Road in Atlanta. Officials say her car was struck by a piece of tire and that the car in front of her slammed on its brakes.
The woman swerved out of the way and ended up underneath the 18-wheeler. Her vehicle was dragged for about a minute under the truck before she was able to crawl out of the driver’s side. The report states that her mouth was full of glass but she escaped without any serious cuts or other injuries. Investigators say the big rig was able to stop quickly because the car cut the pressure line to the brakes.
It can be absolutely terrifying to get stuck underneath the trailer of a big rig. In fact, rear- and side-underride accidents often result in catastrophic and fatal injuries. An underride truck accident is when part or all of a smaller vehicle goes underneath a trailer. Because of the height of trailers, it is possible for the top of the smaller vehicle to get crushed or sheared off.
To prevent underride accidents from occurring, the government enforces standards regarding underride guards. The current standard for trailers and semitrailers was updated in 1998 lowering the guard height to 22 inches and adding strength and testing standards. It is unclear, however, if the standards set forth about 15 years ago are adequately preventing underride accidents.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), only about 55.4 percent of the trucks involved in fatal crashes from 2008-2009 reportedly had rear underride guards. During that time period, 977 trucks were struck in the rear, resulting in fatal injuries. In about 18.3 percent of those crashes, the underride was less than halfway up to the hood of the smaller vehicle and in over half the crashes, the striking vehicle underrode the truck past the halfway point of the hood.
If you or a loved one is involved in an Atlanta truck accident, please make sure you seek the counsel of an experienced Atlanta truck accident lawyer who will stay abreast of the official investigation and that you are fairly compensated for your losses.