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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

What Can You Do to Avoid Underride Accidents in TN? - 2023 Guide

An underride accident is one of the most devastating things that can happen on the road. Regardless of the truck accident's conditions, these often cause fatal injuries and even death.

Is there a way to completely avoid an underride crash? It depends. Even though drivers can do everything in their power to keep an accident from happening, it's also the truck driver's responsibility to drive safely.

Here are a few ways a car driver can consider to be safer on the road. Those who got injured after an accident, on the other hand, can seek legal help from the experts at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys. They can also advise on what you can do to avoid wide turn accidents in TN.

What Injuries Can Underride Truck Accidents Cause?

What Injuries Can Underride Truck Accidents Cause?

Underride accidents happen when a smaller vehicle collides with a commercial truck/semi truck. Since a car is much smaller than a regular tractor-trailer, they're more likely to slide underneath them, which can cause the roof of that vehicle to get sheared off.

There are three scenarios where cars are more likely to hit commercial trucks:

Rear-end Crashes: They happen when a small car goes underneath the truck from its back. Even though these accidents are rare, they're the most common ones regarding underride accidents.

Side Impacts: These are more likely to happen due to negligent truck drivers. Here, regular/semi trucks merge into a car's path, causing it to slide under them and get its roof sheared off.

Offset Crashes: Here, the car hits the truck from behind, but instead of going head-on, it hits one of its corners, which can cause them to enter the driver/passenger side.

All three types of underride crashes are dangerous and can cause a wide range of injuries, such as:

  • Neck and back injuries

  • Traumatic brain injuries

  • Head injuries

  • Broken bones

  • Shoulder injuries

  • Spinal cord injuries

  • Amputations

  • Paralysis

  • Organ damage

  • Contusions

  • Death

Why Do Underride Accidents Happen?

These truck accidents can be either the car or truck driver's fault. Even though there are mandatory guards and markings that most commercial vehicles in the trucking industry need to have, they can still cause an accident.

Some people believe that the lack of guards on the sides of the truck is also a leading cause of these accidents. Institutions like the National Transportation Safety Board have explained how these guards could reduce the risks of these accidents, but the Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association has opposed that argument due to potentially high costs and technical challenges.

In other words, side guards aren't mandatory, so even though it's unlikely to hit a commercial truck from the rear because of the guards, people can still hit it from the sides.

When the Car Driver Is at Fault

It's less common, but trucking accidents can also be caused by passenger car drivers. Most of these reasons are tied to negligent driving:

  • Not Measuring the Truck's Speed Correctly: It happens when a driver misjudges how fast or slow the truck driver is going at an intersection. Most of the time, truck drivers can't stop their vehicles as fast as others, so not calculating correctly could lead to an accident.

  • Pulling in Front of the Truck: Since large trucks can't stop as fast as a normal car, pulling in front of them can cause the smaller vehicle to crash from behind.

  • Merging: Unfortunately, merging around trucks is dangerous. Either not accelerating properly or not waiting for the truck to pass can lead to a fatal crash.

  • Driving Between Two Trucks: It's never a good idea to drive between two large vehicles, even if the driver is in a hurry. Most of the time, doing this will cause the vehicle to be in both trucks' blind spots, making an accident more likely.

Sometimes, the truck accident can be caused by a vehicle malfunction and not because of driver negligence. In these cases, though, the driver must work with reputable truck accident attorneys in Nashville TN to prove their innocence.

When the Truck Driver Is at Fault

Truck drivers must follow many more regulations than regular ones. The slightest mistake can lead to a fatal accident. Here are common scenarios for truck accidents where the driver (or the trucking company) is at fault:

  • Defective Tape or Poor Guard Placement: Both the tape and guards are essential to prevent accidents as much as possible, especially if the person is driving in the dark. Since side guards aren't mandatory, companies limit themselves to installing rear guards and side tapes. However, if either the tape or the guard isn't placed correctly, it could still cause an accident.

  • Poor Driving: Failing to drive correctly while on the road can cause a fatal truck accident. This can happen because of fatigue or negligence.

  • Poor Maintenance: Not maintaining a semi-truck correctly can lead to issues like tire blowouts or jackknife truck accidents, which happen when the tires blow or the brakes lock up and make the truck skid.

  • Improper Loading: Not loading objects into the truck correctly often leads the vehicle to have poor weight balance, making it more likely to cause an accident.

How People Can Avoid Underride Accidents in Tennessee

How People Can Avoid Underride Accidents in Tennessee

Most of the time, drivers can prevent an underride accident by following a few tips:

  • Driving defensively

  • Being aware of the surroundings

  • Adjusting the vehicle's blind spots (if possible)

  • Ensuring the vehicle gets proper maintenance before going on the road

  • Avoiding distractions like texting

  • Following speed limits

  • Not driving while fatigued

  • Avoiding driving close to a truck

  • Not driving when there are bad weather conditions

It may be impossible to avoid some of these scenarios from time to time, but as long as the driver isn't negligent and gives the vehicle the maintenance it needs, these accidents will be less likely to happen. Contact Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys for more information on what you can do to avoid blind spot accidents in TN.

Bottom Line

Both truck and passenger vehicle drivers have a responsibility to behave properly while on the road. As for the truck drivers, they must follow federal trucking regulations and get proper training from the trucking company.

Any car driver who got involved in an underride accident because of someone else's fault may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys are committed to going to war for their clients, so anyone who believes they have a solid case should contact them as soon as possible.


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