Accidents that pit passenger vehicles against large commercial trucks are inherently dangerous for those in the smaller car. However, override and underride truck accidents put those in passenger vehicles at an even greater risk. In fact, the latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that almost 65 percent of truck-passenger car accidents reported in 2008 and 2009 were either an underride or an override truck accident.
What are override and underride truck accidents?
Override and underride truck crashes occur when a large truck rides over the back of the passenger car or when the passenger car rides under the back of a large truck. These accidents are especially dangerous because of the size difference between tractor trailers and passenger cars. The truck can easily crush the smaller passenger vehicle, often leading to severe or fatal injuries.
How do override truck accidents occur?
Override accidents typically occur when the truck driver is not able to stop and runs over a smaller vehicle in front of them. How this situation develops in the first place, however, often involves a mechanical failure or negligence on the part of the trucker.
The events that most commonly cause override accidents include:
- A trucker following another vehicle too closely
- Low visibility from rain, fog, or snow making it difficult to see another vehicle
- The truck driver failing to yield to traffic with the right of way
- The truck driver speeding and being unable stop fast enough
- The trucker changing lanes without checking other traffic or signaling
- The driver of the passenger vehicle stopped too suddenly
- Brake failure
- A tire blowout
- Other mechanical problems
What causes underride accidents?
Underride accidents – when a passenger car goes under a truck trailer – can occur because a motorist was following the truck too closely, or because the trailer was difficult to see in poor visibility.
In other cases, though, a trucker’s negligent behavior may trigger underride crashes. This often occurs when:
- The truck does not have brake lights or tail lights
- The required reflective tape on the trailer is missing or dirty
- The required underride guards are absent
- The driver changes lanes without signaling
- The driver parks on the shoulder without the proper lights
- The driver backs up without checking for other vehicles
Who is liable for these accidents?
Negligence can occur in a trucking accident in a number of different ways, such as:
- Errors on the part of the driver
- Mechanical problems with the truck due to manufacturing errors or poor maintenance
- Negligent hiring or policies on the part of the trucking company
The truck driver is not always fully responsible for an accident. As stated above, the driver of the passenger vehicle can be liable or partially liable if she was following too closely or stopped too quickly.
If you believe negligence caused your accident, the Brauns Law team can review the facts surrounding your crash and determine if you should file a case against the liable party.
Note: If the investigation into your accident finds that you are more than 50 percent at fault for your accident, Georgia state law bars you from recovering any compensation for your injuries.
How can attorney David Brauns help?
The truck accident attorneys at Brauns Law have worked with hundreds of truck accident victims, and understand all facets of these cases. We can help you through investigating the case of your crash, identifying liable parties, filing insurance claims, negotiating a fair settlement, and taking the case to court if necessary. Contact us today at 404-418-8244 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.