Many may not know the term underride collision, but they know it when they see it. Often resulting in serious injuries, underride collisions occur when a smaller vehicle collides with a large truck or bus, essentially getting wedged under the larger vehicle that sits higher.
There are about 4,000 fatal collisions between small cars/trucks and large commercial vehicles. It is common for the smaller vehicle to get trapped under the large vehicles. It is usually fatal when this occurs, even at lower speeds.
How does this happen?
The angle of the underride collision usually indicates the cause:
- Front collision: The semi or bus rear-ends the car in front of it, perhaps driving up on top of it.
- Side collision: The truck may try to change lanes, make a sharp turn or U-turn, trapping a smaller passenger vehicle on the inside lane.
- Rear collision: The smaller vehicle collides with the large vehicle’s back end – this can happen if the truck or bus stops or drives slowly on a highway.
Severe injuries are common
As with any collision between a passenger vehicle and a semi-truck or bus, those in the car are often severely injured. It may be:
- Damage to internal organs
- Damage to spine and neck
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Disfigurement or scarring
Companies may try to quickly settle
Those insuring trucking lines and businesses that use large trucks or buses often immediately send out representatives to determine their liability. If they think their client is at fault, the carrier may attempt to settle quickly. The thinking is to offer a seemingly reasonable but low amount of money before the victims and their families realize the extent of the damages. It is best to avoid signing any official statements or papers before getting all necessary medical care.