Few accidents are as dangerous as the side underride accident between a passenger car and a semi. This type of accident happens when the car hits the side of the trailer and goes below it.
For instance, maybe a truck is waiting to cross an intersection at a two-way stop. The driver does not see a small black car coming down the cross-street because it blends into the pavement. That car does not slow down because the driver knows he or she doesn’t have a stop sign and expects the semi to wait. The trucker pulls out into the road, blocking it, and the car slides under the trailer, between the wheels, at full speed.
It’s not just the speed of the crash that’s a problem, but the difference in vehicle size. Many safety systems are designed to protect people from a head-on crash involving the actual body of the car, but the semi may miss the front bumper and the body entirely. Instead, the impact is to the roof and front window, which have very little support. It can cut the roof entirely off of the car. Some reports claim that “in many cases, the occupants are decapitated.’ They also note that hundreds of people die in these accidents every year.
How can drivers avoid these crashes? If they happen as described above, there is often very little they can do. It is on the truckers to make sure they don’t pull out in front of the other car. If they do, the people in the passenger vehicle have little time to react or even reduce their speed.
Those who get seriously injured in these accidents must know their legal options.