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2024 Truck Accidents

Watch Out for Underride Accidents

Truck accidents are on the rise. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were a total of 3,724 injuries as a result of truck accidents in Georgia in 2023, which was a   24% increase from the 2,913 reported in 2022. Most are familiar with motor vehicle accidents common to trucks, like jackknife accidents and rollovers, but many may be less familiar with underride accidents. These types of accidents can cause severe injuries and deaths. Our Tifton truck accident attorneys can help the victims of underride accidents seek compensation for their injuries. 

What Are Underride Accidents? 

Underride accidents occur where a passenger vehicle slides underneath the trailer of a truck. Depending on the height and ground clearance of the vehicles involved, underride accidents can result in the roof of the passenger vehicle being crushed or shorn off, which often results in some of the most severe injuries seen in car accidents of any kind. The point of impact in underride crashes is most often the windshield or roof of the smaller vehicle, so vehicle safety features — like airbags — often may not deploy. 

The Two Main Types of Underride Accidents 

There are two main types of underride accidents: rear underride accidents and side underride accidents. Rear underride accidents occur when the smaller vehicle “rear-ends” the truck and slides underneath the trailer behind its rear wheel axle. They often result in the smaller vehicle being dragged behind the truck until it comes to a stop. Side underride accidents occur where the smaller vehicle “t-bones” the truck and slides underneath the trailer between its front and rear axles. In some cases, the smaller vehicle can pass completely under the trailer and emerge on the other side, potentially into another lane of traffic. 

Common Causes of Underride Accidents 

Several scenarios can contribute to underride accidents, including: 

  • Following too closely: Rear underride crashes often occur when the smaller vehicle is following the truck too closely and cannot brake in time if the truck comes to a sudden stop. 
  • Third-party rear-end collisions: Some underride accidents are caused when one vehicle rear-ends another and causes the impacted vehicle to slide underneath a truck in front of it. 
  • Improper passing: Side underride crashes can occur when a vehicle attempts to pass a turning truck
  • Poor visibility: Darkness, rain, and fog can obscure the presence of trucks, causing passenger vehicles to crash into them
  • Improper truck lighting: Trucks are required by law to meet certain lighting requirements; a trucking company’s failure to comply can result in underride crashes. 
  • Missing or improperly maintained underride guards: Federal regulations require trucks to have rear underride guards (but not side underride guards). Failure to install an underride guard or keep it properly maintained can result in an underride accident.

 If an underride accident was caused by a negligent third-party driver, the truck driver, or the trucking company, the victims may be able to pursue a personal injury claim

Take Action With Help From a Tifton Truck Accident Attorney 

If you were injured in an underride accident, you need skilled legal representation to take on the trucking and insurance companies. For more information, please contact a Tifton truck accident attorney at the Hudson Injury Firm by calling 229-396-5848 or using our online form