Commercial vehicle collisions occur because of mistakes that professional drivers make and decisions made by people in regular passenger vehicles. There are many kinds of collisions that may involve these two different sizes of vehicles, but underride collisions are some of the worst.
Underride collisions occur when a passenger vehicle hits a commercial truck and ends up passing under the sides or rear of the trailer. Such crashes frequently leave the vehicle unsafe to drive and cause massive, if not fatal, injuries to the occupants.
There are ways for members of the public and for commercial transportation companies to reduce the likelihood of these crashes. How can people prevent underride collisions?
Through investment in underride guards
There are specific vehicle accessories that trucking companies can install to prevent underride collisions. While they may not prevent the actual crash, they will stop the smaller vehicle from passing under the larger truck. Unfortunately, because the federal government does not yet mandate side underride guards, many trucking companies do not invest in these simple yet effective devices.
Although the government does require rear underride guards, the requirements don’t align with what the government says are the safest and best guards available. Many companies buy the cheapest guards they can and don’t maintain them well instead of treating them as the life-saving equipment they actually are.
Of course, you have no control over what a trucking company does. Is there anything you can do as an individual to reduce your risk of an underride crash?
By giving big trucks more space
Avoiding the blind spots around a commercial truck will be one of the simplest ways for a driver to minimize the possibility of an underride collision. If you aren’t directly to the side of a truck’s trailer or directly behind it, you will have a significantly lower risk of striking the truck.
Leaving enough room to stop in an emergency could make all the difference for your safety. Avoiding the position directly in front of a truck, especially if you can’t maintain the same speed that they traveled, could also help protect you from an override collision.
Those affected by commercial collisions may be able to bring insurance claims or sometimes even a lawsuit against the company involved. Asking for compensation after a commercial truck crash can lead to fewer financial consequences for your family and possibly better policies at the trucking company.