What is an Underride Truck Accident?
Trucks are extremely unique vehicles with a variety of distinct concerns and dangers associated with them, so it’s no surprise that some types of Arizona truck accidents have no counterpart among smaller vehicles. Underride truck accidents fall into this category of unique, yet incomparably deadly crashes, and refer to certain collisions where a smaller vehicle “rides under” the rear or side of a larger truck, getting crushed in the process.
How Underride Accidents Happen
Truck trailers are usually elevated several feet off the ground, creating enough room for the front portion of a vehicle to slip underneath with enough force. However, as you can imagine, there’s only enough room underneath for that low, frontside portion, meaning that once the rest of the vehicle catches up, the passenger cabin of the car will directly strike the side of the trailer.
Since a vehicle has to hit the rear or side of a truck’s cabin with sufficient speed in order to underride it, certain situations are more common causes of truck crashes and underrides than others:
- Rear-collision underrides are usually caused by tailgating, distracted/ drowsy driving, poor visibility conditions, speeding, or trucks being pulled over on the side of the road without sufficient visibility markings.
- Side-collision underrides are more common at intersections, usually when a truck is making a wide turn/ u-turn and catches an unaware driver in the process, or when either driver runs a red light.
Liability in an underride accident usually falls on either the trucker or the victim depending on how the crash happened. If the smaller vehicle’s driver was distracted, impaired, or was driving recklessly at the time of the crash, they’ll likely be at-fault for the resulting damages. Conversely, if the trucker failed to maintain their vehicle’s lights, reflective tape, or safety triangles for roadside breakdowns, they could be liable for any motorists who strike their poorly visible truck.
Why Underride Crashes Are so Deadly
Underride crashes account for a significant amount of all fatal Arizona truck accidents and are likely to cause severe injuries and disability when victims survive. A smaller vehicle’s bumpers are designed to accept collisions and disperse force, but that isn’t the case for the driver’s cabin, which tends to buckle easily under pressure, crushing passengers in the process. This is only exacerbated by the fact that many underride crashes involve high-speed collisions, further reducing chances of survival for the smaller vehicle. In simpler terms, underride crashes are like dropping a brick wall onto your vehicle from above rather than running into it.
Compensation for Arizona Underride Truck Accidents
If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one in an underride truck accident in Arizona, you deserve compensation for your suffering. However, trucking companies will rarely admit liability, so you’ll need to get the help of an experienced legal professional in order to pursue a successful claim. ELG’s Arizona truck accident attorneys are exactly the resource you need, so give us a call at (623) 877-3600 to schedule a free consultation and have all your questions answered. We can take the burden of the claims process off of your shoulders, conducting a thorough investigation on your behalf.