Underride Truck Crashes in Arizona: The Lethal Risk of No Side Guards

Underride crashes, also known as side underride crashes, are a serious risk for passenger vehicle occupants in Arizona. These dangerous collisions occur when a passenger vehicle slides under a large truck during a side impact collision. Without proper side guards installed on the truck, the passenger compartment can take the full force of the crash, often leading to catastrophic injuries or death.

The Dangers of Underride Crashes

During an underride collision, the stiff frame of the truck slices into the passenger vehicle as it overrides the door sill or window frame. This intrusion into the survival space of the occupant leads to severe, often fatal injuries. Victims can suffer:

  • Decapitation or traumatic separation of the head and spine
  • Brain and spinal cord injuries
  • Rib cage and vital organ damage
  • Amputation of limbs

Underride collisions also reduce the crumple zone of the struck vehicle. With less distance to decelerate, the force of the impact is intensified. This subjects vehicle occupants to extreme crash forces and exponentially increases the risk of fatality.

Why Trucks Lack Adequate Side Guards

While rear underride guards are mandatory equipment on large trucks in the U.S., side underride guards are not. The federal government has declined to implement side underride protection standards for commercial trucks. Without a legal mandate, most trucking companies fail to invest in this important safety equipment.

The trucking industry has resisted side underride legislation due to costs. Proper side guards made from high-strength steel can add hundreds to thousands of dollars in equipment costs per truck. However, these upfront costs pale in comparison to the value of human lives destroyed in underride wrecks.

Advocating for Side Underride Protection in Arizona

Concerned citizens and safety advocates in Arizona continue to push for stronger underride guard laws. Legislation proposed in 2021 sought to:

  • Require side underride guards on all new commercial trucks registered in Arizona
  • Establish standards for guard strength and installation
  • Phase in requirements for existing trucks over several years

While the bill did not pass initially, efforts continue to reintroduce similar legislation. Passing state bills can prompt federal action on the issue. Arizona truck accident victims and their families play a key role by sharing their stories and advocating for change.

Taking Legal Action After an Underride Truck Crash

If you or a loved one has suffered catastrophic injuries or wrongful death in an Arizona underride wreck, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. An experienced truck accident attorney can help maximize your compensation and shed light on why the crash occurred. Key legal strategies may include:

  • Identifying all liable parties – the truck driver, trucking company, manufacturer, cargo loader, etc.
  • Proving truck and component defects that may have contributed to the crash
  • Obtaining video footage, ELD (electronic logging device) records, inspection reports, and other documentation through discovery
  • Computing economic and non-economic damages like medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering

An aggressive lawsuit not only pursues rightful compensation, but also puts pressure on the trucking industry and government agencies to implement overdue side underride protections. Lives depend on it.

Get Experienced Legal Representation

Don’t go it alone after an underride truck collision in Arizona. The legal team at Monge & Associates has handled hundreds of truck injury cases. Put our passion, resources, and track record of results to work for you.

Contact our office on (888) 477-0597 for a free case review today. We have offices in 32 locations across 19 states, including Arizona, Alabama, and Florida and are ready to take your call.