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Underride accidents can result in catastrophic consequences

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2024 | Personal Injury

Underride accidents happen when a smaller vehicle collides with a semitruck or trailer and slides underneath it. These types of crashes are among the most hazardous on the road, often resulting in severe injuries or fatalities.

The lower profile of passenger vehicles compared to the higher clearance of semitrucks creates a risk where the safety features of smaller vehicles, like airbags and crumple zones, are bypassed, leading directly to catastrophic outcomes.

Causes and types of underride accidents

There are primarily two types of underride accidents: side and rear. Common causes include low visibility, lack of underride guards, and the failure of smaller vehicles to recognize a semitruck’s slower acceleration or longer stopping distance.

Rear underride accidents happen when a vehicle crashes into the back of a semitruck, often because the truck stops quickly or is inadequately visible. Side underride accidents occur when a vehicle collides with the side of a semitruck, typically at intersections or when trucks are merging or turning.

Preventative measures and safety regulations

Specific safety regulations and preventative measures are in place to mitigate the chance of these crashes. One key measure is the installation of underride guards on the backs and, increasingly, the sides of semitrucks. These guards are designed to stop a smaller vehicle from sliding underneath the truck in the event of a collision.

Additionally, improved lighting and reflective tape on semitrucks enhance visibility, while advanced safety features in passenger vehicles, like automatic emergency braking, help prevent these accidents. Regulatory efforts continue to evolve, seeking to address the gaps in safety that allow such accidents to occur.

The role of legislation and technology in enhancing safety

Efforts to improve road safety and prevent underride accidents involve both legislative action and technological innovation. Lawmakers work to update and enforce safety standards for commercial vehicles, including mandating the use of underride guards and improving vehicle visibility. Simultaneously, technology plays a crucial role, with advancements in vehicle safety features and autonomous driving systems aimed at preventing collisions.

Victims of underride crashes can suffer catastrophic injuries. These can lead to considerable expenses. Those victims may opt to pursue a compensation claim to recover their losses from liable parties. Legal assistance is beneficial in these cases because they can become quite complex.