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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger

How to Avoid Underride Accidents in Texas | All Factors to Consider

Any accident involving trucks is dangerous for everyone involved. However, one of the most devastating ones to experience is the underride accident. It's exclusive to large trucks, and it can lead to fatal injuries.


Even though all truck drivers in Texas are required to drive carefully and keep their vehicles in check, that doesn't prevent smaller vehicles from crashing into them because of recklessness or other factors.


Those who get injured because of an underride crash may be entitled to compensation. This page covers everything victims should know about how to avoid underride accidents in Texas, as well as common injuries, how to determine liability, and more. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also explain how to avoid blind spot accidents in Texas.


What's an Underride Accident?

What's an Underride Accident?


In simple terms, an underride accident occurs when a smaller vehicle gets trapped underneath a truck.


Usually, semi-trucks get underride guards installed. This helps lower the risk of these accidents. Unfortunately, not all trucks have them, making the road more dangerous for other drivers.


It's important to consider that installing an underride guard isn't currently required by law. However, institutions like the National Transportation Safety Board have mentioned they do a great job of reducing injuries and deaths.


There are two types of accidents a passenger vehicle can be involved with:


Rear Collisions

As its name implies, these collisions happen when a small car rear-ends a large truck. Even if the truck has side underride guards, that may not stop smaller vehicles from getting below the truck from the rear. Of course, the solution to this would be for the truck driver to install rear guards too.


Rear collisions may happen because the driver behind miscalculates how long the truck takes to accelerate. If they accelerate too quickly, they may rear-end the truck.


Side Collisions

Side collisions tend to happen because of truck driver negligence when they make a U-turn, change lanes, or turn onto a roadway.


Most truck drivers make maneuvers without looking because they assume other drivers will see them. Unfortunately, this isn't the case, especially when driving at night.


How Dangerous Are Underride Truck Accidents?


Truck accidents are among the most dangerous ones on the road. Every trucking company must keep all its drivers and vehicles in check to ensure they're safe for the road. Otherwise, passenger vehicle drivers are at risk of getting injured.


Due to the nature of the accident, it's easy for an underride accident to cause the death of another person. This is because the truck could shear the top of the other car off.


When underride accidents occur, the other driver will likely lose all their car's safety features. People don't often survive these crashes.


Common Injuries to Expect from Truck Underride Accidents


Those who survive underride truck accidents are still exposed to catastrophic injuries. These include:


  • Back injuries

  • Loss of limbs

  • Burns

  • Skull fractures

  • Spinal cord injuries

  • Traumatic brain injuries


These consequences require extensive medical help, which will cost a lot of money. Victims of an underride crash must talk to professional attorneys if they want to secure as much compensation as possible. They can also help with how to avoid wide turn accidents in Texas.


How to Prevent Underride Accidents Safely


Trucking companies should enforce underride guards, as this is the best option to prevent accidents. Installing side and rear underride guards ensures smaller vehicles don't get underneath the truck if they were to hit it.


Truckers can also install reflective tape, which makes the vehicle easier to see at any moment during the day.


Finally, truck drivers should always drive while following safety measures.


Underride guards, unfortunately, aren't currently enforced by law (unlike the other two measures mentioned). Even though this can change at any time, other drivers must take as many measures as possible to avoid being near these trucks.


Some of the best things to do to prevent underride collisions include:


  • Keeping a safe distance when driving behind trucks

  • Passing trucks as quickly as possible (if it's safe to do so)

  • Avoiding staying between two trucks


In other words, the best thing to do is to avoid being near a truck while on the road.


Who's Liable in Texas Truck Underride Accidents?


It depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident. If the crash was caused because of the truck driver's negligence, they're liable.


What if they were driving correctly and the truck failed to work? In that case, they must check what caused the accident. The liable party could be the:


  • Truck part manufacturers

  • Tire manufacturers

  • Trucking company


Of course, the other drivers on the road can be liable if they were behaving recklessly.


In Texas, a truck driver's liability doesn't necessarily transfer to the trucking company, meaning that both liabilities must be tried separately.


There's a special case where neither driver is responsible for the accident. If the road wasn't in good condition, and something there was responsible for the accident, the government would be liable.


The best way to know which party is liable is to talk to a semi accident attorney in Dallas. They'll analyze all the factors surrounding the case, allowing them to come up with a solid explanation for what happened.


What Should Victims Do After Getting Involved in Underride Crashes?

What Should Victims Do After Getting Involved in Underride Crashes?


Victims should do the following after getting into a crash with another truck (as long as they can still move safely):


- Ensure that everyone else involved is safe.

- Call 911 to get emergency medical assistance.

- Take photos and videos of the accident and any injuries experienced.

- Get the truck driver's contact information.

- Call the police to get a report.

- Talk to potential witnesses and get their contact information, if possible.


Bottom Line


The trucking industry is responsible for hiring and training professionals who perform to the best of their ability. If a trucking accident were to happen, it's crucial to analyze the circumstances and determine whether the truck driver could have done something to prevent it.


Regardless of what happened, victims must have a lawyer on their side to ensure compensation for all the damages caused. At Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys, there's a team willing to build solid cases for victims in Dallas, Texas.


Now that it's clear how to avoid underride accidents in Texas, it's time to take action. Those interested in knowing more can schedule a free consultation with the firm.

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