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Underride Truck Accidents: Dangers to Passenger Vehicles

By Sean Burke on May 17, 2018

A large truck driving on the highwayUnderride truck collisions occur when a commuter vehicle strikes the underside of a tractor-trailer, pinning it underneath. These accidents might occur as a result of a sideswipe, a rear end collision, or a t-bone crash. Number from the US government estimate that 200 Americans die each year in underride truck collisions. A t-bone underride truck crash is the deadliest form of this collision since the top of a vehicle may be completely cleared off. Any vehicle safety features are useless at preventing harm in these sorts of collisions.

The Orange County, CA auto accident attorneys of Burke Law would like to consider the common causes of underride truck collisions and why they are so dangerous to motorists.

The Dangers of Uderride Truck Accidents

Even when drivers are not involved in a t-bone accident, underride collisions can prove deadly. Being pinned under there trailer of a large truck can lead to severe trauma for everyone in the passenger vehicle. Survivors of such accidents may face long-term or lifelong changes to their well-being and mobility.

Tailgating and Underride Truck Accidents

Driving too close to any sort of vehicle is a major hazard. When driving behind a large truck, the risk of an underride rear end collision is high. A sudden stop by the truck ahead of of tailgater could result in a catastrophic crash. This is why it’s important to maintain a reasonable distance from large trucks while on the road.

Malfunctioning Brake Lights and Tail Lights

On the note of the rear end accidents, these kinds of collisions become more likely when the brake lights or tail lights of a large truck do not function properly. The risk of a collision are always higher when it is unclear if a vehicle is stopping or turning.

Truck Driver Negligence

Underride truck accidents can also be the result of driver negligence. If a truck driver is not paying attention to adjacent lanes, there is a risk that an underride accident may occur as a result of an abrupt or negligence lane change or merge. Truck drivers must be extra careful given the size of their vehicle.

Lack of Reflective Tape on the Trailer

Though some people may take it for granted, the use of reflector tape can make a major difference when it comes to accidents with large trucks. When trailers on large trucks lack reflector tape, they may be hard to see. These could be a last line of safety in some crashes.

No Underride Guard on the Trailer

To prevent severe injuries from underride collisions, most trucks have an underride guard in place. These additional rails extend down from the back of the trailer and sometimes the sides of the trailer. While collisions may occur, the underride guards will limit their severity and prevent the passenger vehicle from getting picked under the trailer.

Poor Weather and Low Visibility Conditions

Rain and fog can both be major hazards when it comes to driver safety and general visibility. In poor weather or low-visibility situations, the chances of a underride truck accident are certainly higher. Be cautious when driving in bad weather.

Learn More About Your Legal Options

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in an underride truck collision, be sure to contact the attorneys of Burke Law. Our legal team is here to help you in your time fo legal need.

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