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Why underride crashes are so deadly

On Behalf of | Nov 9, 2023 | Car Accidents |

Underride crashes, where a smaller vehicle collides with a larger one and slides underneath it, are some of the most horrific and deadly accidents on the road. 

These crashes often result in catastrophic injuries and fatalities, and they were responsible for at least 400 deaths in 2021 alone. Understanding more about how they happen can make it easier to avoid them.

What causes underride accidents?

Underride accidents typically involve commercial vehicles, including moving trucks, delivery vans and semis – but they can also easily happen with SUVs, too, especially when the smaller vehicle is a motorcycle or a subcompact car. 

Typically, underride accidents are caused by a combination of factors:

  • Excessive speed: The vast majority of underride accidents occur at high speeds. The higher the speed involved, the more force exerted in the collision. The higher the force, the more likely that a smaller vehicle will end up wedged underneath the larger one.
  • Aggressive driving: A lot of underride accidents can be related to aggressive driving. When one driver cuts another off in traffic and then suddenly has to brake, the driver who was cut off may not be able to stop in time to avoid an underride crash.
  • Missing protections: Both commercial vehicles and passenger cars have safety features that are supposed to stop underride accidents. However, underride guards can be missing on trucks, and the tech on a lot of vehicles can be prone to failures in real-world conditions.

Underride accidents are often devastating because the entire front end of the smaller vehicle, including the roof, is usually crushed. Even if the driver and any front-seat passengers survive the wreck, they may be left with permanent injuries and disabilities. If your loved one has been the victim of an underride wreck, find out more about the legal options available.