Trucks and Guardrails – How Much Protection Do They Really Offer?

Trucks and Guardrails – How Much Protection Do They Really Offer?A big rig driver in Horry County was recently hospitalized after an accident sent his truck off the side of a bridge into a ditch. The crash, which happened at the Highway 501 and Waccamaw River Bridge intersection, resulted in road closures for several hours.

Although officials put up a temporary guardrail immediately following the accident, many South Carolina roads don’t have such protection. With winter weather on the way, it’s important to be aware of the risks we face on the road.

Why do trucks hit guardrails?

You often see guardrails used on bridges, separating traffic, or in areas where drivers are at risk of rolling over or going off the road, like on a sharp curve. Guardrails are designed to stop or slow down cars that have left the roadway, and prevent a minor accident from becoming a tragic one. Truckers typically hit guard rails for the following reasons:

Truck accidents caused by lack of guardrails

When a county, city, or municipality attempts to cut costs, they may do so at the expense of maintaining or installing necessary guard rails. If this occurs, they could be held responsible for any truck accident that happens as a result, including:

  • Rollover accidents
  • Running off the shoulder of the road
  • Falling off a bridge or other high point
  • Colliding with pedestrians
  • Colliding with other vehicles or property

A lack of guard rails can contribute to poor road conditions or hazardous road design, turning what would typically be a minor accident into a catastrophic one. These cases can be complex to prove, but certainly not impossible with the right attorney on your side.

Truck accidents caused by defective guardrails

Poorly-maintained or defective guardrails can increase the risk of serious injury in the event of an accident. A guardrail may not perform in the way it was intended, due to many reasons, including design flaws, incorrect installation, or improper maintenance.

When a guardrail is installed incorrectly or at an improper height, it may not protect a truck in the event of an accident. If it is not high enough, the truck may jump over it. Or, if a guardrail is allowed to fall into disrepair, it will not be able to withstand the force of a collision and the vehicle will crash right through it.

Common injuries from guardrail accidents

Injuries from any kind of truck accident can be serious. Injuries caused by missing or defective guardrails, however, can be catastrophic. Common injuries from these types of accidents include:

If you were injured in an accident involving a defective or missing guardrail, you may be eligible for compensation for your losses. The South Carolina truck accident attorneys at McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC work to seek full reimbursement for medical bills, wage loss, and pain and suffering. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call 803-327-7800, or we invite you to reach out to us through our contact page.