Colliding with a semitrailer can cause you and the other occupants of your vehicle serious injuries or death. All collisions between semitrailers and passenger vehicles are dangerous, but underriding collisions are one of the most serious types of collision you could experience.
Underriding collisions occur when a passenger vehicle slides or is pushed under the semitrailer, which can happen because of the semitrailer’s high ground clearance. When an underriding incident occurs, the edge of the semitrailer can crush or shear off the top of the passenger vehicle, often with deadly results for the vehicle’s occupants.
What causes underriding collisions?
Underriding collisions can occur on any side of a semitrailer, so the cause for the collision can vary greatly. However, some ways truckers can cause underriding collisions include:
- Changing lanes without signaling
- Distracted driving
- Falling asleep at the wheel
- Following another vehicle too closely
- Recklessly slamming on the brakes
An underriding collision can also occur when a trucking company fails to perform vehicle maintenance. Lack of maintenance can lead to brake failure, mechanical problems or burnt out lights.
How can I prevent being in an underride collision?
As someone who shares the road with semitrailers, you may benefit from taking steps to avoid underride collisions. One way you can do this by allowing plenty of space between you and any semitrailer you encounter on the road. Generally, if you cannot see the trucker’s face in one of the semitrailer’s mirrors or through one of the semitrailer’s windows, you can assume the trucker cannot see you. Never tailgate a semitrailer, pass a semitrailer on the right side or cut off a semitrailer. If you feel that a semitrailer is following you too closely, try to merge to another lane to let the trucker pass you.
If you are severely injured or if a loved one is killed in a collision with a semitrailer, it may be appropriate to seek justice. You should not have to suffer because of the reckless actions of a truck driver or a trucking company, and you may be able to receive compensation for medical expenses and other costs associated with the injury or death.