Why underride accidents are so dangerous

A Harlingen truck accident occurred on December 2, 2021 when a woman crashed into the back of a semi tractor-trailer.

ValleyCentral.com reported the accident as a major crash.

The collision occurred at 2:45 a.m. at FM 509 and Nixon Road. The woman, driving a Dodge passenger car died at the scene of the crash. Furthermore, authorities were investigating the accident. Yet, based on details in the article, the accident was possibly an underride accident.

What is an underride accident?

An underride accident occurs when a vehicle crashes into the back or side of a truck. The force of the impact can cause the car to slide underneath the trailer. In many instances, the crash sheers off or crushes the top of the smaller vehicle. In fact, fatality statistics are high in underride accidents.

How do underride accidents occur?

One possible cause is the lack of an underride guard on a truck. An underride guard consists of a horizontal bar extending around two feet from the ground. This bar attaches to two vertical bars and the truck’s frame.

As of 2020, the Stop Underrides Act required all manufacturers to include underride guards. The law applies to vehicles weighing 10,000 pounds or more. It applies to trucks manufactured after 12/28/20.

Other causes of underride accidents include:

  • Damaged taillights
  • Sudden braking
  • Inadequate signaling
  • Poor visibility due to weather conditions or nighttime driving

An outdated guard may not offer adequate protection. The current law requires trucks to have:

  • Proper guard sizes for the vehicle
  • Strengthened guard corners
  • Positioning the guardrail installation at the right level
  • Regular underride guard inspections

Involved in a Harlingen truck accident? Put an experienced lawyer on your side.

For decades, the Office of Michael R. De La Paz has successfully represented clients in truck accident cases throughout Texas, including Laredo, Austin and San Antonio. Arrange a free consultation to evaluate your potential case.