The results of a semi-truck and passenger vehicle collision usually involve severe injuries or death to the occupants of the passenger vehicle. The occupants of passenger vehicles are usually more vulnerable in crashes than truck drivers because of the size difference between the two vehicles. Semi-trucks can weigh 20 to 30 times more than passenger vehicles and are positioned higher off the ground than other vehicles are.
One common type of crash involves a car underriding a truck. This means that the car ends up partially or completely under the truck, which can be especially hazardous for the occupants of the car.
What causes underriding accidents?
A car can end up under a semi-truck in a number of instances. The car could go under the front of the truck if the truck driver was tailgating the car, was speeding or experienced brake failure. A car could end up going under the side of a truck when a trucker changes lanes without looking or when a truck creates a wind gust that pulls a smaller vehicle under it. A car could go under the back of a truck if a truck driver slams on the breaks or if the car was tailgating the truck.
How can these accidents be prevented?
To prevent these kinds of accidents, truckers should have underride guards installed on their vehicles. However, some of these guards tend to break off during a crash, so safe driving habits should still be a priority for truckers and other drivers who share the road.
As a driver of a passenger vehicle, you can help prevent being involved in an underriding crash by leaving plenty of space between your vehicle and any semi-truck you encounter while driving. Semi-trucks have large blind spots on all four sides and require a longer stopping distance than other vehicles do, so it is important to avoid lingering in those blind spots and avoid cutting off a semi-truck.
However, some crashes are caused by the negligent actions of truck drivers. If you are injured in a crash with a semi-truck, you may be able to receive compensation for your medical expenses and other costs related to your injuries.