Why do underride accidents often involve fatalities?

Underride accidents are one of the deadliest accidents, yet also one of the most underreported type of vehicle accidents. By law, trucks must have rear guards to help prevent cars from crashing and sliding under a truck.

In June, 2023, Frontline interviewed experts regarding dangerous trucks. Safety advocates have made efforts in calling for safer rear guards, also called underride guards.

What is an underride accident?

An underride crash occurs when a smaller vehicle collides with a tractor trailer and strikes the rear end or side of the truck. Due to the force of the impact, the car’s front end and hood of the car slides under the truck, between the truck’s wheels. As a result, airbags in the car may not activate. Typically, the driver and passengers of the car suffer from severe injuries or die. Truck drivers sit high up in their tractor trailer, away from the impact area. Consequently, it is rare that truck drivers suffer injury.

How common are underride accidents?

According to NHTSA, during 2021, more than 400 people died in underride crashes. However, this type of accident goes underreported for several reasons:

  • Some states do not have an underride category for people when reporting accidents
  • Requirements to qualify as an underride accident vary. For example, one state requires more than 50% of the vehicle to be underneath the trailer to fall into this accident category.
  • People and local police have limited information for identifying and recording an underride collision

What is an example of an underride crash that occurred?

On November 22, 2021, a man named Joshua Moran was driving in San Antonio, Texas with his daughter in the car. An Amazon delivery truck exited the interstate and attempted making a right-hand turn from the far left lane. Moran turned a hard right to avoid a T-bone collision. However, part of his car slid under the truck’s side. As a result of the accident, he suffered from traumatic brain injury, two herniated discs and a knee fracture. His daughter sprained her foot and was later given a diagnosis of PTSD because she became terrified of riding in cars.

Have you been injured or lost a loved one in an underride collision?

The Law Office of Michael R. De La Paz handles car accident cases that occur nationwide and throughout the State of Texas. If you were in a serious accident in Austin, Dallas, San Antonio or some other Texas location, arrange a free consultation today to evaluate your potential case.