There isn’t a shortage of different types of truck accidents that may occur. Among the most dangerous are underride accidents. That’s a crash in which a passenger car becomes trapped under the rear portion of an 18-wheeler’s trailer. Crashes that result in a car getting stuck between the trailer’s front and rear axles are also called underride accidents.
While there isn’t any reliable data that shows how many motorists suffer injuries in underride collisions each year, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) data suggests at least 200 motorists die in such crashes annually.
Are underride accidents preventable?
Advocacy groups have long lobbied lawmakers to support bills requiring underride guards on the sides and rear portion of the trucks for years. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) even requires the installation of underride guards on trucks. However, these groups argue that they seldom check for them.
A new bill focused on underride accident prevention was proposed in both houses of Congress in March. It appears that it will continue to undergo further debate. There have been two similar bills previously introduced that didn’t gain enough support.
How dangerous are underride accidents?
An 18-wheeler’s trailer doesn’t sit very high off the ground. The passenger compartment of most passenger cars is taller than the trailer. You might assume that it wouldn’t be possible for more than the vehicle’s hood to become trapped underneath the trailer. While that’s all that sometimes happens, the force of the impact can cause the roof of the passenger compartment to become sheared off, seriously injuring or killing anyone inside.
When someone suffers injuries in an underride crash, they may be able to seek compensation to cover the costly medical bills and other expenses. Surviving family members may also be able to recover funeral costs and other damages if a loved one is killed in a crash. Your ability to do so depends, in part, on what led up to the crash. Preservation of evidence and experienced legal guidance are crucial.