Accidents involving large commercial trucks often result in major injuries and extensive property damage. There are various types of collisions that can occur involving larger commercial trucks, but perhaps the most dangerous is called an underride collision.
Underride crashes occur when a smaller passenger vehicle ride underneath the back or sides of the larger commercial truck. Here, we want to discuss how these incidents typically occur as well as the most common types of injuries sustained by individuals inside the passenger vehicles.
What is an Underride Crash?
Data available from the Illinois Department of Transportation indicates that there were more than 12,000 total tractor-trailer collisions across the state during the latest year of information on file. However, the DOT does not break down the different types of crashes that occur. Perhaps one of the most dangerous and deadly types of truck collisions is called an “underride accident.”
Large commercial trucks are positioned much higher off the roadway than traditional passenger cars. This can lead to serious injuries and property damage in the event a collision occurs. When a smaller vehicle collides with a larger commercial truck on the roadway, this can lead to the smaller vehicle sliding underneath the larger truck (hence the name “underride” collision).
When this type of collision occurs, this can result in the upper portion of the smaller vehicle sustaining significant damage, and it can even result in the top part of a vehicle being partially or completely sheared off, depending on the force of the collision.
As you can imagine, an underride truck accident in Illinois can result in significant injuries for those inside the smaller passenger vehicles. Collisions can occur when a passenger vehicle strikes the rear of a larger truck or either side of the larger truck.
Common Causes of Underride Accidents in Illinois
Underride accidents can occur in a variety of ways in Chicago and throughout Illinois. Often, fault for these incidents can fall to the driver of the passenger vehicle involved in the collision. For example, if a driver fails to obey traffic laws, operates too fast for conditions, drives while impaired by alcohol or drugs, or operates while distracted by their phones or another device, this could lead to them colliding with the rear or side of a larger truck.
There are also times when the truck driver or the trucking company could be held responsible for causing an underride accident. Some of the most common driver or company related to causes of under right accidents includes the following:
- The truck driver coming to a sudden stop, leading to a rear underride collision
- The truck driver failing to signal their intention to turn or make a lane change
- Truck drivers failing to follow the flow of traffic
- Truck drivers not using lights or reflective triangles around their vehicle if they have to stop on the side of the road
- Truck drivers failing to pull all the way off of the road when they have to stop, leaving the rear end of their truck in oncoming traffic
- Mechanical failure that leads to the truck breaking down on or near the roadway
- Defective lighting along the sides or rear of the truck
- Dirty, dim, or defective brake or tail lights
Work With a Truck Accident Lawyer in Illinois
If you or somebody you care about has been injured in an underride truck collision, speak to a skilled Chicago truck accident attorney as soon as possible. A personal injury attorney can help investigate every aspect of the claim. They will gather the evidence needed to prove liability and then negotiate vigorously with the insurance carrier to recover total compensation on behalf of their client.