What Are The Differences Between Override and Underride Truck Accidents?

When a large commercial truck is involved in a traffic accident, about two-thirds are override or underride accidents. These are very serious accidents that cause many injuries and fatalities. The National Safety Council reports that in the United States, there are about 500,000 trucking accidents each year, with 107,000 resulting in injuries and almost 5,000 fatalities.

Override Trucking Accident

A heavy commercial truck moving at highway speed has such momentum that it is difficult to stop quickly. An override truck accident happens when a large truck drives over the back of a smaller pickup truck or a passenger vehicle.

The most common causes of this trucking accident are mechanical problems such as brake failure, weather conditions with slippery roads, and negligence on the part of the truck driver going too fast or following too close.

An override accident is usually, but not always, the truck driver’s fault. Contributing factors may be the other driver’s negligence by not following traffic rules and driving in an unsafe manner.

Underride Trucking Accident

An underride accident occurs when a smaller pickup truck or a passenger vehicle drives under the back of a large commercial semi-truck.

Common causes include negligence of the smaller vehicle’s driver following too close (tailgating) or the driver having difficulty seeing the truck trailer. You might think an underride accident is always the smaller vehicle’s fault. However, the truck may cause the accident by not having operating brake lights or tail lights, dirty or missing reflective tape, and missing underride guards, which are a legal safety requirement.

Override Crushing Injuries are Severe

In an override accident, the smaller vehicle gets crushed from the weight of the truck bearing down upon it. Removing the injured passengers and driver in the smaller vehicle is usually necessary by using a “jaws of life” device to pry the crushed metal apart and get them out of the damaged vehicle. Time is of the essence in getting them out because the risk of the vehicle catching fire from leaking gasoline or diesel fuel is very high.

Injuries from trucking accidents include traumatic head and brain injuries, broken bones, burns, airbag injuries, spinal injuries, having a crushed pelvis bone, lacerations, puncture wounds, internal organ damage, and more. An amputation may be necessary to extract someone trapped in a crushed vehicle or if a limb is damaged beyond repair. Paralysis may occur because of the damage to the spinal column from being crushed in the accident.

Underride Accident Deaths

A fatality from an underride truck accident is likely because the vehicle and its inhabitants might be cut in half near the mid-chest area. Some who survive this type of brutal accident have bent down at the last possible moment before impact to be low enough to go under the truck and not be sliced to pieces.

Get an Attorney to Help

If you or a loved one were injured or killed in a truck accident, get help from a qualified attorney immediately. Call (281) 475-4535 or use the web form to request an appointment for a free consultation.