Underride collisions are often deadly and typically preventable

| Jun 8, 2020 | Trucking |

Any car wreck that involves a passenger vehicle and a commercial truck probably causes substantial damage to the smaller vehicle. In many cases, commercial trucking crashes can also result in life-altering or fatal injuries for the people in the smaller passenger vehicle simply due to the difference in size and weight between the two vehicles.

Certain crashes are far worse than others. Underride collisions are among the most horrific commercial trucking crashes that occur, as they involve the larger truck going over the smaller vehicle or the smaller vehicle going under the big truck. This process can crush the smaller vehicle or possibly shear the top of it off during the collision.

Underride crashes are preventable

With the proper truck design, adequate maintenance and best driving practices, underride crashes can be prevented. Unfortunately, some drivers make mistakes, including people in control of commercial trucks, although smaller vehicles can also cause underride crashes, possibly by cutting off or tailgating a big truck.

Regardless of fault, truck manufacturers and owners of commercial trucking fleets could reduce underride deaths but often choose not to. These companies frequently resist installing the most effective underride collision guards for many reasons including financial considerations. Some companies may install the smallest and cheapest rearguard they can find regardless of that guard’s effectiveness.

Side underride guards aren’t as common as they should be

Many trucking companies also choose not to install side underride guards despite their ability to prevent vehicles from sliding under the trailer of a commercial truck, despite the fact that about 200 people die every year in side underride crashes.

The weight of the panels used as side underride guards can affect how much cargo a truck can carry and how much gas it burns. Additionally, the guards themselves cost money and require maintenance like any other component on a truck. Some companies may choose to forgo them in order to limit their expenses and maximize profits. 

Taking action after an underride collision

Those who get hurt in a motor vehicle crash caused by someone else can hold the responsible party accountable with the help of an experience trucking attorney. In the case of a commercial vehicle crash that would have been preventable with better underride guards, there may be additional options available, including taking action against the trucking company that put profits before public safety.