An underride collision with a tractor-trailer often leads to fatalities. Sometimes, a gruesome aftermath awaits occupants of a car that crashes into the rear or side of an 18-wheeler, crushing the vehicle, shearing off its top and killing its occupants. According to U.S. government statistics, roughly 200 people die annually in underride accidents. And, if victims do survive, they are bound to suffer catastrophic injuries that will affect them for the rest of their lives.
Safety advocates have long championed installing underride guards on the sides, rear and front of semis. Meanwhile, nationwide legislation addressing this issue continues to stall. No doubt, this development is related to trucking-related trade groups opposing such laws. Still, people die or suffer serious injuries in these accidents, some of which are preventable.
Poorly marked trucks, poorly trained drivers
Underride accidents usually occur from the rear or side. A big-rig truck driver may suddenly step on the brakes, causing a sudden stop on the highway and leading to the car traveling behind to careen into the rear. In another scenario, an 18-wheeler suffers a spinout, coming to a stop perpendicular to the road. The vehicle traveling behind it is unable to avoid crashing into the side. Here is additional information:
- Underride accidents from the side: These mishaps often occur during darkness or when visibility is low. While turning or crossing a road, slow-moving trucks are not easily seen, and its sidelights might not be working.
- Underride accidents from the rear: Poorly marked trucks often lead to these accidents.
Negligence on the part of trucking companies for failing to install underride guards or properly train drivers often causes such accidents. Sometimes, the driver is to blame due to fatigue or being under the influence of a controlled substance or alcohol. Such actions often lead to tragedy.