Underride crashes often lead to catastrophic injuries and death. Each year, hundreds of people are killed in underride collisions, which occur when an SUV or car slides or skids under a big-rig truck. The result is that the smaller vehicle often gets crushed and the roof gets sheered, trapping occupants of the smaller vehicle inside.
These collisions often occur from the side or the rear. For example, a tractor-trailer spins out and jack-knives on the roadway in order to avoid a crash, however, the cars traveling behind it suddenly find themselves unable to avoid the crash.
Poorly marked trucks, negligent truck drivers
Negligence on the part of the truck driver or truck driving company often are reasons for underride collisions. Maybe the driver is inexperienced, had improper training or was under the influence of a controlled substance or alcohol.
The following provides more detailed descriptions of underride collisions:
- From the side: Often, such crashes occur at night. Visibility is usually low. The typical scenario for these types of crashes involves slow-moving trucks trying to turn or cross onto a roadway. Contributing factors include obscured or non-working lights on the truck’s side.
- From the rear: Such collisions often occur because the big-rig truck or its trailer or insufficiently marked. Other ways rear underride collisions occur are when a truck driver neglects to use emergency flashers when entering or exiting a roadway or when he or she fails to place reflective triangles on the road while parked at the side.
More and more big-rig trucks include rear underride guards, which serve as metal bumpers hanging from the back of their vehicles. These devices are meant to prevent crashes from the rear. It is about time more the trucking industry implements more safety standards. Regardless, motorists must remain alert and cautious when sharing the road with these vehicles.