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Truck underride crashes can result in severe injuries

On Behalf of | Apr 8, 2024 | Automobile Accidents

Underride crashes are among the most dangerous types of truck accidents in southern California. They happen when a car slides underneath the body of a large truck, usually at the rear or on one of the sides. In 2023, the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) updated its standard for underride guards on the back of trucks, but not the sides, to help prevent these crashes.

What makes underride crashes so dangerous?

Truck accidents classified as underride crashes are so dangerous because of the differences in height between large semis and cars. The impact point in an underride crash is usually the hood or the windshield on the smaller vehicle, so safety features such as airbags often don’t activate. A 2019 General Accounting Office study found serious head and neck injuries, as well as fatalities, were much more common in underride crashes than in any other type of truck crashes. Truck drivers usually don’t suffer severe injuries because of their high position, but drivers and passengers in smaller vehicles do.

Many people have never heard of underride crashes. The GAO report indicated that less than 1% of traffic fatalities from 2008 through 2017 involved underride accidents, but the agency also indicated that such fatalities were likely underreported. Nevertheless, over 400 people died in underride crashes in 2021, according to FRONTLINE and ProPublica.

The complexities of truck accidents

Many factors can play into the causes of truck accidents. Victims generally suffer more severe personal injuries in these mishaps than in accidents between vehicles of relatively the same size. When underride crashes occur, these injuries are apt to be even more severe, with multiple broken bones, complex internal injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) that can render victims disabled in various capacities, sometimes permanently. In some cases, victims may never be able to work again or have a high quality of life.

If you or loved ones have suffered severe injuries in an underride accident or another type of truck mishap, you may have some available remedies. Contact one of our truck accident lawyers today to discuss your situation.