All truck accidents are hazardous, of course, but underride accidents are easily some of the most dangerous types of truck crashes. An underride accident occurs when a smaller vehicle drives under the trailer of a big rig, often shearing the top of the smaller vehicle off. As a result, nearly all underride accidents result in catastrophic injury or death.

What Contributes to a Truck Underride Accident?

Organizations like the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) have devoted plenty of time and resources to try to understand and prevent underride accidents. Through decades of research and analysis of underride accident sites, a number of causes have been identified.

Factors that may contribute to truck underride accident:

Guardrails on Trucks Can Prevent Underride Accidents

Currently, the best option to help significantly reduce the chances of an underride accident is equipping all tractor trailers with guardrails. Sideguards and rearguards can be equipped on trailers to slow and redirect smaller vehicles that drive under the trailer. Most guardrails are designed as a durable metal grate attached to the side or back of a trailer, hanging below the tractor. Effectively, it turns the space below the trailer into a cage with the guardrails stopping vehicles from going in.

As effective as sideguards and rearguards on big rigs may be, you will probably notice that all of these larger vehicles are equipped with this safety feature. In fact, glancing at trucks on the highway will probably show you more trucks without guardrails than trucks with them.

Despite underride accidents being a prominent concern with the DOT and related agencies for decades, the ability to effectively regulate the trucking industry and ensure all trailers are equipped with guardrails remains elusive. In the meantime, all truckers must be careful not to get their trailers stuck across lanes, and all motorists must be vigilant about identifying misplaced trailers on the road ahead.

If you or a loved one get into a serious truck accident in California, dial (855) 735-5945 to connect with Frantz Law Group, APLC. Our truck accident attorneys have represented thousands upon thousands of clients across the years, achieving multiple multimillion dollar case results along the way. Find out more about our legal representation by contacting us today.