Any motor vehicle collision has the potential for personal tragedy, but big truck crashes can easily end poorly for the people in the smaller vehicle. Certain kinds of truck crashes are much worse than others.

Truck underride collisions are among the most horrific and tragic of all the different kinds of commercial truck crashes, as they often result in the total destruction of the smaller vehicle and the death of its occupants.

Underride crashes can happen in just a few seconds

As you can possibly infer from the name, an underride collision involves a situation where a passenger vehicle goes underneath a larger commercial vehicle as part of a crash. 

Rear underride collisions occur when a passenger vehicle strikes the back of a commercial truck and possibly wind up going under the trailer. Side underride collisions occur when a car passes under the trailer of a truck, usually between the axial or wheels. 

In both cases, it is possible for the smaller vehicle to suffer significant crushing damage or to have the top peeled or sheared off of the rest of the vehicle.

Proper guards could prevent underride crashes

What is perhaps most tragic about underride collisions is that the majority of them are preventable if commercial trucking companies and owner-operators would invest in proper safety guards for their vehicles.  

From wider, stronger rear underride guards than the versions mandated by federal law to side underride guards that prevent vehicles from passing under a trailer, there is equipment available that can drastically reduce the likelihood of a commercial truck causing one of these crashes. 

Currently, there are recommendations for additional studies about these crashes, which could lead to improved laws in the future. Those who get hurt or lose a loved one in an underride crash may have the option of bringing a claim for compensation against the company or driver involved, depending on the circumstances.