Underride accidents are some of the most dangerous accidents motorists can be involved in. They happen when a small vehicle strikes a much larger vehicle, such as a semi-truck or a flatbed trailer, and slide underneath it. This collision type can lead to severe injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord injuries (SCIs) and even decapitations.
Of course, all car accidents are potentially dangerous, and more than 35,000 Americans pass away annually in these accidents. So, what is it about underride accidents that makes them especially hazardous?
The impact point
Consider how an underride accident happens. A small car may become wedged under the trailer of a semi-truck, giving the accident its name. This also means that the front edge of that trailer is likely to have a high impact point, probably above the car’s hood and around the windshield. The impact directly affects the passenger compartment, rather than the bumper and the steel safety structure of the car’s frame. This means that occupants of a smaller vehicle have far less structural protection than they would in an “ordinary” crash.
The size difference
Next, there’s a drastic size difference between a semi-truck and a passenger vehicle. In car accidents, weight and speed are very important because they help to determine how much energy transfers from one vehicle to the other. As a general rule, those in smaller vehicles are going to suffer more extensive injuries because more force is being transferred onto them.
The vehicle can become trapped
Finally, underride accidents are uniquely dangerous because they often involve vehicles that become wedged, stuck or trapped under the larger vehicle. Even when emergency crews come to the scene, it may take them time to remove passengers from the trapped vehicle. This can delay the medical treatment that those people get, which increases the odds of serious complications.
Do you deserve compensation?
If you’ve been involved in an underride accident, you may have suffered life-altering injuries that mean you’re no longer going to be able to work or enjoy life the way that you want. You could be facing lost wages, extensive medical bills and many other costs. If another driver caused the crash, you may deserve financial compensation, so do not delay in seeking legal guidance. You deserve to understand your rights and options under the law.