Underride accidents occur when a car goes partially or fully underneath a truck or trailer in a collision. When the car goes fully under the truck, the risk of death is high. This type of car and truck accident typically happens when the car rear-ends the trailer of the truck or collides into the side of the trailer.
Although trucks with trailers are required to have rear underride guards, the guards can fail when they have a weak design, are defective, or are weak from corrosion. Because there is no federal requirement for side underride guards, a side collision of a car with a semi rig’s trailer will almost certainly cause an underride accident.
Underride accidents happen for a variety of reasons:
A Car Passes a Right Turning Truck on the Right Side
Trucks require lots of road space to their right when making right turns. Motorists attempting to pass on the right during this maneuver risk having the trailer turn into them. The combined motions of the trailer and car cause the underride. This is generally the motorist’s fault for attempting an obviously dangerous maneuver. The truck driver can’t see the car because of a large blind spot on the trailer’s right side.
The Rear Underride Guard Is Weak
As mentioned above, poor design, defects, and corrosion cause rear underride guard failures.
The Trailer Lacks Visibility
This is caused by failure to install or properly maintain side lighting and reflective tape. The reflective tape is required to have a red and white alternating pattern, be at a specified height, and cover a minimum length. Lights and tape must be maintained and kept clean of dirt and mud.
The Truck Fails to Give the Right of Way
Some truck drivers assume their large size will force smaller vehicles to yield to them regardless of who has the right of way. In good visibility and pavement conditions, smaller vehicles have little choice. However, slippery roads or poor visibility can cause a side collision when the car is unable to stop or see the truck.
If you or a loved one suffered injury in an underride accident, experienced truck accident lawyers can help you get the compensation you need and deserve. For a free case review, contact us today.