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Override and Underride Truck Accidents
Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia Truck Accident Lawyer
Some of the most serious truck accidents on the road are the result of truck, or tractor trailer, override or underride accidents. An override accident is when the truck runs over a smaller automobile, motorcycle or pedestrian. An underride accident is when the automobile slides beneath the truck. In either type of accident, the injuries are most likely serious, if not fatal. Because of the sheer size of the trucks, the smaller vehicle has no chance.
During an override accident, it is the front end of the truck that runs over whatever is in its path. There are many causes of this type of accident including:
Underride truck accidents occur when a passenger vehicle crashes into and continues beneath a truck. The rear or side of the trailer crushes or rips the top of the vehicle off which can cause severe head trauma or decapitation. Around 40 percent of all underride accidents that involve fatalities are due to the vehicle going under the rear corner of the trailer. Accidents like this are typically caused by vehicles tailgating trucks that suddenly stop or not being able to see the trailer, a problem that occurs in the evening or early morning.
One of the most famous underride truck accidents occurred in 1967 when the actress Jayne Mansfield was virtually decapitated after the vehicle she was riding in hit the rear of a tractor trailer. It took nearly 30 years for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to issue a standard that all new tractor trailers should contain some kind of guard to prevent these types of accidents. This follows a 1993 rule that all new tractor trailers be equipped with reflective tape along the sides and rear of the trailer. There was no requirement made to retrofit older trucks without guards or reflective tape.
To avoid override and underride accidents, all trucks should, at a minimum, have:
- Lights, warning signs, or flashing lights when parked on the side of the road
- Tail lights and reflective tape
- Brakes inspected regularly
- Keep their distance from other vehicles around them
If you or a loved one has been involved in an truck override or underride accident in the Washington, DC, or Virginia or Maryland area, please contact the experienced truck accident lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. for an initial consultation.