Why is an underride accident so dangerous?

On Behalf of | Aug 21, 2021 | Trucking Accidents |

Any car accident can be exceedingly dangerous, especially when the other vehicle that is involved is an 18-wheeler. Your car may weigh around 4,000 pounds, but these trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, so it’s easy to understand that you are in far greater danger than the truck driver — even if they were the one to cause the crash. 

Even within the realm of semi accidents, though, there are some types of crashes that are more dangerous than others. One of the worst is known as an underride accident. 

It’s all a matter of height

An underride accident is one where the smaller vehicle — i.e., your car — slides below the truck’s trailer. The truck itself rides up over the top. This can happen in any direction, but it’s most common when you hit the side of the trailer, such as in a situation where you’re driving straight and a truck driver makes a reckless left turn in front of you. 

The danger here comes from the fact that the front of your car may hardly touch the truck and does not slow you down. Crumple zones are rendered useless. The car’s protection systems are avoided. Instead, the leading edge of the trailer slams into the windshield and the passenger compartment. This can cause significant injuries to those in the car, especially head injuries, and extraction becomes very difficult for the emergency crews. 

If you or a loved one has suffered catastrophic injuries in an underride accident, you need to know how to seek compensation for your medical bills, property damage and other losses.