Click 2 Houston reported on a lawsuit filed recently after a woman was killed in an underride truck accident in Texas. The family of the victim indicated that the woman involved in the accident would have been alive if the truck had a side underride guard. Unfortunately, the truck did not have this safety feature and the woman's car got trapped underneath a tractor-trailer blocking all the lanes. The incident caused her to suffer severe head trauma and although she went through two brain surgeries, she died at age 54 a total of 131 days after the crash happened.
This Texas victim was not the first to be killed in an underride accident and tragically she is unlikely to be the last victim of an underride crash. Underride accidents are one of the most common types of truck crashes and are disproportionately fatal when they occur. Truck drivers need to be aware of the higher risk of this type of truck accident, as well as aware of the risks of two other common types of truck crashes that can often cause serious injuries or fatalities.
Three Dangerous Kinds of Truck Crashes
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) warned about the risks of underride accidents and indicated underride guards are not currently doing enough to stop these accidents. Out of 1,000 truck collisions that were part of a study, just 22 percent of the truck accidents didn't involve some degree of underride. There were 28 fatal crashes that occurred that were included in the study, and in 23 of the 28 deadly crashes there was severe or catastrophic underride damage. Proper safety precautions should be taken to prevent cars from sliding under trucks in order to save lives.
Another common type of truck crash that is especially likely to be deadly is a rollover accident. According to a paper from National Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 35 percent of deadly truck crashes were rollover accidents. The fatality rate was higher than the total rate of rollover truck crashes. Around 18 percent of the crashes included in the study in this case were rollover accidents. Rollover collisions are especially likely to occur as trucks drive on curved paths, because centrifugal forces can cause the truck to lean away from the curve and the truck is prone to overturning. If drivers are going too quickly or have unbalanced loads, the risk is exacerbated.
Finally, a third type of dangerous truck crash is a jackknife accident, which happens when a truck goes out of control because the trailer that is being towed ends up pushing out from behind after a skid. Truck drivers need to maintain vehicles to avoid uneven brakes and worn tires and should avoid quick braking, especially when traveling downhill, as maintenance issues or poor braking practices are major contributing causes of jackknife accidents according to Wikihow.