Illinois drivers might dread a collision with a tractor-trailer more than anything else. A smaller vehicle could end up crushed beneath a massive truck, and such a disaster may occur even when both drivers operate their vehicles safely. Side underride guards might add another layer of safety and protection, but not all trucks come with them. After an accident, Illinois trucking companies may face negligence claims for not installing these guards.
A potentially disastrous result
A semi-truck’s massive size presents a sizeable gap between the trailer and the ground. The vast height makes it possible for a car to slide underneath a truck during a collision. A vehicle could then get stuck under the truck and, if the truck continues to drive, the semi may drag the car and its occupants for quite a distance.
When a driver and vehicle are stuck under a truck, the results could be fatal. Installing a side underride guard rail may put forth the necessary barrier to prevent a car from sliding under the truck.
The absence of an underside guard
Big rig accidents that lead to severe injuries and fatalities will often involve claims of negligence. Negligent behavior covers a wide spectrum and is not limited to moving violations, overloaded cargo, or poor maintenance. The decision not to install a side underride guard might result in a liability claim.
In addition, a distracted truck driver could operate a vehicle with a poorly maintained underride guard. A plaintiff might seek a high settlement amount upon discovering multiple instances of negligence. A claimant could make the case that a lack of an underride guard contributed to the resulting harm.