What is a Tractor Trailer Underride Accident?
Tractor-Trailer underride accidents occur when a passenger vehicle, usually the front of the passenger vehicle, enters below the base of the trailer of a large truck (e.g., 18-wheeler). This is particularly possible with small family passenger cars (as opposed to a mini-van or SUV). Unfortunately, the height of the front of the car is insufficient to contact the bed of the truck, often 10 to 20 inches below the bed of the truck. This puts the bed of the truck right at the head-chest level of the passengers within the car. Injuries in these accidents tend to be catastrophic, if not fatal.
Why doesn’t the driver just slow down to prevent an underride accident?
A tractor-trailer truck is pretty big… so why doesn’t the car driver see the tractor trailer in time to prevent a underride accident?
Unfortunately, perception and trailer hitches installed near me reality meet too late in these circumstances. Often the driver is fooled into thinking that the roadway is clear. Simply, the passenger car driver does not have adequate warning of the impending trailer underride danger.
Driver carelessness. If the driver is momentarily inattentive, they may not see a trailer that has been inadequately pulled to the side of the road, or a trailer that is across the highway as the result of a u-turn or a wide turn in the case of a truck entering a roadway.
The positioning of the truck may cause a trailer underride accident.
Road conditions. Slick road conditions increase the stopping time for a car approaching a tractor trailer underride situation.
Surrounding (ambient) lighting which can reflect off of the truck and cause the truck to blend in with its surrounding, forming a sort of accidental camaflouge, especially on a silver truck. In fact often the reflective red/oraqnge colors match the neon lights from surrounding businesses.