The actual term “underride accidents” is not in the mainstream of phrases that the average person hears much, if any, during their lifetime. An underride is a term associated with a vehicle coming into contact with an 18 Wheeler and becoming pinned underneath the trailer from behind or in the middle. Many of these accidents occur as rear-end collisions when a driver slams into the tractor-trailer combo. The extra height and clearance underneath the trailer make for a deadly combination when a standard-height automobile collides with the back of a cargo carrier.
Some are fortunate enough to walk away from such tragic semi-truck accidents, but it means almost instant death for most. Trucking companies and the Department of Transportation are always working on new ways to prevent and under-ride pinning of vehicles with enhanced safety lighting and reflectors. The undercarriage barrier that exists on the back of every commercial trailer does not always do its job during a rear-end collision. More times than not, the barrier will fold like it is made of recycled soda cans or tin foil. The problem is that this safety feature is never tested and could be where the trailer maker cuts corners.
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There are times when a very small or sub-compact car will try to change lanes and will actually drive underneath the trailer. The driver will usually panic and apply the brakes, which results in the rear wheels of the trailer running over the vehicle and crushing the car from the top down. Sometimes, hard braking leads to a jackknife accident.
One other type of underride accident that can occur is when an 18-wheeler locks it’s brakes and is in a full jackknife slide. The trailer comes up behind a slowing or stopped car or SUV and collides with the upper portion of the vehicle, causing severe bodily injury or, worse yet, decapitation. The Baumgartner Law firm has handled numerous serious injuries and wrongful death underride truck accidents.
About four hundred drivers and passengers in the United States are killed by this type of 18-wheeler accident every year, and public awareness should be higher about this potential type of accident than it is currently.
To speak with a Texas 18-wheeler accident attorney about an underride or other truck accident lawsuit in Houston, call us toll-free at (866) 758-4529. We handle cases across Texas and in Baytown, Pearland, and Pasadena.
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