Big Rig Underride Accidents

Posted on 13th July, 2021

Big Rig Underride Accidents

Underride accidents are widely considered one of the deadliest types of accidents that can occur on the roadways of today.

Studies indicate that these mainly happen as a result of the following:

  • A large commercial truck is struck from behind by a smaller vehicle, resulting in the smaller vehicle being pinned under the truck.
  • A large truck begins switching lanes and ends up pinning a smaller vehicle already in possession of the lane.

Understandably, underride accidents are often catastrophic due to the size difference between these large big rigs compared to other vehicles that share the roads.

While a truck may suffer little to no damages after an altercation, and the trucker may walk away unscathed, the passenger of the smaller vehicle is likely to face deadly and/or life-altering injuries.

Government statistics have revealed that these underride accidents are the direct cause of more than two hundred deaths a year. Such discoveries are alarming when experts claim that these gruesome deaths can be prevented. For example, some reports suggest that automakers should be required to install guards on the sides of the trucks in addition to those required on the back. This could, in theory, prevent vehicles from being pinned on the side of the trucks, thereby lessening the number of deadly incidents.

Sadly, despite the sound reasoning being presented to lawmakers, who've received millions of dollars in campaign donations from the transportation industry, the issues have not been pushed nor have new laws been implemented.

Until better safety regulations are recognized and implemented, what can we do to protect ourselves?

Safe Driving Tips: Sharing the Road with the Big Rigs

Sharing the road with these 18-wheel monsters may feel intimidating, but there are things we can do to help ensure our own safety:

  • Learn Their Blind Spots and Avoid Them! Because of their size, big trucks have limited visual capability. Just as cars have blind spots, so do the big trucks; only they often have more. Understanding these and avoiding them will aid in making sure you are safe.
  • Never Follow Too Closely or Tailgate! If a vehicle travels too closely behind a truck, there is a chance a trucker will not even know it's there. An indicator that a trucker cannot see you is if you cannot see the truck's mirrors. Tailgating a truck or any vehicle is dangerous because you decrease your own safety distance if the vehicle in front of you stops quickly.
  • Avoid Lingering Alongside a Truck. Always pass a large truck on the left side, and after you pass the truck, move ahead of it. Do not linger. Otherwise, you make it very difficult, if not impossible, for the trucker to take evasive action if an obstacle appears in the road ahead.

Accidents Involving Large Trucks

Truck accidents are very different from regular car accidents, making them more intricate cases to handle. For example, there are numerous areas that need to be investigated, which include gathering evidence in order to ascertain liability. This can be a complex process because there is usually more than one party that can be considered at fault and/or responsible for the damages. Besides the truck driver, other parties may include the insurance company and or companies, the trucking company's owner, the owner of the truck's hauled items, and even the scheduler for the truck driver.

This is why it is advisable to hire an experienced truck accident attorney who can ensure your rights are protected.

If you need help with your Elk Grove and Sacramento County truck accident case, please contact O'Brien & Zehnder Law now. Our firm is large enough to handle the tactics of the defendants but small enough to give you and your case the attention you deserve. The sooner you call, the easier it is to ensure the evidence is used in your favor. We will get you the results! Contact us now or visit our website and let the O'Brien & Zehnder law firm defend you.