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Duffy & Feemster

Truck Wrecks and Why Underride Crashes Often Result in Tragedy

Any time an 18-wheeler and a passenger vehicle come into contact, it is almost guaranteed that the truck will win every single time. Because of that, the sad reality is that most accidents involving cars and big rigs result in catastrophic injuries and sometimes even death. There are, however, different types of accidents involving trucks; one of the most serious is an underride accident.

What is an underride accident?

An underride accident is a type of truck crash in which a portion of a passenger vehicle slides under the truck. This can happen on any side of the big rig, including the front and back. Underride accidents are frequently deadly because the car and its driver can essentially be crushed underneath a truck.

How can truck underride accidents be prevented?

In addition to basic accident prevention techniques, the safety design specifically created for underride accidents is equipping trucks with safety guards. Those safety guards are meant to keep cars from being able to slip underneath the truck when an impact occurs. Unfortunately, only rear safety guards are mandatory for trucks right now—and in some cases, they still aren't strong enough to stop a car from sliding under. If a car is traveling at a high rate of speed, or if it hits one of the back corners of the truck, the driver is still much more likely to be injured and not reap the benefits of the safety guard.

Underride accidents can happen in many different situations:

  • A truck driver may not see a small car driving in front of him, and rear-end the car at full speed
  • A car could rear-end a big rig if the car driver doesn’t see the truck's reflectors or the lights aren't working
  • A big rig truck could make a lane change directly in front of a traveling vehicle.

It can be hard to avoid an underride accident, but if all drivers remain vigilant and focused on the road, it is possible that lives can be saved.

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