When you’re in a small, compact car, trying to drive alongside a big semi or another commercial rig can be pretty scary. The sheer weight and size of a commercial truck make it clear that any accident could potentially be devastating.
Underride accidents are particularly deadly. These occur when a smaller vehicle slides beneath the frame of a larger vehicle in a wreck. This can shear off the top of a smaller car, killing or maiming the occupants. The smaller vehicle can also end up crushed and pinned beneath the truck, complicating any rescue efforts.
What causes underride accidents?
Government agencies have been trying for years to get better safeguards against underride accidents. In general, these accidents are a result of things like:
- Missing safety signals: Commercial vehicles are supposed to have reflective tape and running lights along their sides and good taillights so that drivers can see them better in low light. When those are missing, peeled away or otherwise not in working order, that can lead to tragedy.
- Missing or improper guards: Not every trucking company does what it should to protect its drivers or other roadway users. Guards may break off and never get replaced or they may be vastly outdated as far as the way they are designed or installed.
- Trucker mistakes: Underride accidents also happen because truckers can get distracted or start speeding after a long day on the road, or they may forget to put on their emergency flashers and throw out flares when they have to stop by the roadside.
Of all the different potential accidents you can be in, an underride crash is among the most likely to be deadly. If you were injured in an underride collision or your loved one was killed, find out more about your legal options.