Jersey Shore Personal Injury and Employment Specialists

Why underride accidents are usually catastrophic

On Behalf of | Dec 21, 2023 | Fatal Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Any car accident will cause damage and possible injury. But, one kind of collision is almost always catastrophic – the underride accident.

What is an underride accident, and can it be prevented?

Causes of underride collisions

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 400 people died when their vehicles collided with a semi-truck. That number is probably much higher. 

An underride collision occurs when a car or a motorcycle crashes into and slides under a much larger vehicle, such as a semi-truck or tractor-trailer.

These types of accidents are usually dangerous because the smaller vehicle often ends up crushed beneath the larger one, resulting in severe injuries or fatalities to its occupants. Some factors contribute to the catastrophic nature of underride collisions, such as:

  1. The height mismatch between the two vehicles. Many safety features in a car, such as a crumple zone and airbags, are ineffective when the car slides under the truck.
  2. When the smaller vehicle slides under the larger one, the roof often collapses, crushing the occupants.
  3. In other situations, the roof of the smaller vehicle may be completely sheared off, exposing its occupants.

There are several reasons why this type of crash may occur, including:

  • Adverse weather conditions that make it difficult for drivers to control their vehicles
  • Brake failure or malfunctioning lights on the semi-truck
  • Driver fatigue
  • Poor visibility

Several safety measures could be implemented to help prevent underride collisions, such as installing underride collision guards. However, there has been some resistance to these in the trucking industry. Furthermore, they don’t always work as they should.

If you have been severely injured in an underride collision, it’s crucial to contact someone who can assist you in receiving compensation while you recover.