The trailer portion of the tractor trailer is practically invisible at night. Illumination of the trailer portion on the tractor trailer is frequently limited to a few reflectors and some reflecting tape. When a tractor trailer operator finds the need to turn the trailer perpendicular to the roadway or, in the event that the tractor trailer becomes disabled and the trailer is perpendicular to the roadway, an emergency immediately arises. Operators of oncoming traffic are unable to see the trailer blocking the pathway until it is too late. The collision that occurs when a passenger vehicle crashes underneath the trailer is called a "trailer underride" collision . It occurs because the tractor trailer operator failed to exit his vehicle and place sufficient warning signs, flares or flashers far enough in advance of his trailer to assure that oncoming traffic would be aware of the danger and stop in sufficient time without going under the trailer. Needless to say, tractor trailer underride collisions are incredibly tragic. They can result in the decapitation of passengers in the vehicle striking the tractor trailer, often at high rates of speed. In the event that there is a last minute recognition that the roadway is blocked by the trailer, even an attempt by an operator or a passenger to seek refuge under the dashboard could result is catastrophic and permanent injuries. Tractor trailer underride collisions could be avoided. They are collisions that need not take place if the tractor trailer operator had taken more care in either assuring that the trailer did not traverse the roadway perpendicular to oncoming traffic or had placed sufficient warning signs, flares, etc. far enough in advance of his trailer. The tractor trailer lawyers at Chaikin & Sherman, P.C. have had a long history of representing individuals injured through the carelessness of tractor trailer or large truck drivers or operators. Contact us for a free initial consultation.
by Ira Sherman, Esq.