As a driver, you typically do your best to avoid dangerous situations. After all, you don’t want to get into a crash that causes you or anyone else in your vehicle injuries. One thing you should always try to keep in mind is that certain kinds of collisions and crashes are far more dangerous than others.
One of the most dangerous kinds of motor vehicle accident is the underrride collision. These accidents involve a smaller passenger vehicle ending up trapped underneath a larger commercial truck. They can happen in a variety of ways, and they often lead to catastrophic injuries and death, as well as the total destruction of the smaller vehicle. You want to avoid any kind of crash with a commercial truck, especially underride collisions.
Understanding the different kinds of underride collisions
There are three different kinds of underride collisions. Frontal underride collisions happen when a truck strikes the rear end of a vehicle. In some cases, the truck may go up and over the vehicle, crushing it with its tires and the weight of the cab. These crashes are often fatal.
Side underride collisions involve a vehicle passing under the trailer of a commercial truck. This can also lead to major vehicle damage and severe injuries. Many times, the top of the passenger vehicle can end up sheared off by the underside of the commercial truck.
Finally, rear underride collisions occur when a passenger vehicle hits the back end of a commercial truck. These crashes are also often fatal, which is why the federal government requires the installation of special guards on commercial trucks to reduce the likelihood of these tragic crashes.
Commercial truck companies and drivers should do more to prevent these crashes
There are guards available that can prevent the vast majority of underride collisions. Unfortunately, many trucking companies worry more about their profit margin than public safety. They may install the cheapest guards they can find for the rear guard and avoid installing the side guards. That can leave everyone else on the road at risk.
Stronger and wider rear guards can make a major difference for public safety. Side guards can also help reduce these crashes. Minor tweaks to cab design can reduce the risk of front underrides. Companies will point out the cost of buying, installing and maintaining these guards, as well as their impact on gas mileage as reasons to avoid putting these guards on vehicles.
If you or someone you love suffered injuries or lost a family member as a result of an underride collision, it may be possible to hold the truck driver accountable if he or she caused the crash. In certain situations, such as maintenance failures, you may also have grounds to pursue compensation from the company that owned the truck and hired the diver.