When looking at truck accidents, you’ll find a portion of them every year that qualify as underride accidents. This is when a car or a small vehicle collides with the truck’s trailer in such a way that it can fit at least partially underneath the trailer.
In fact, if you’re driving behind a semi, you’ll probably see a metal bar extending below the bed, behind the rear wheels. It’s a very simple design, in most cases, with a square piece of steel. But that’s actually a very critical safety feature because it means that a car that rear-ends the semi will stop before going underneath the trailer.
The point of impact
The reason that underride accidents are so dangerous is that the point of impact is higher.
For instance, say that you’re driving a small sedan and you get hit by another sedan. The bumpers on both vehicles are fairly close to lining up, as are the frames of those vehicles. This means that the impact occurs in front of you and roughly on the same level as your legs.
If you’re involved in an underride accident, however, the point of impact becomes your windshield. The bottom edge of the trailer is much higher because of the overall height of the vehicle, and so the safety systems in your car – such as your bumper or the crumple zones – are not going to protect you. Many people in underride accidents suffer severe head, neck and spine injuries as a result.
If you have been severely injured due to the negligence of another driver, then you need to know how to seek financial compensation.