When truck underride crashes occur on Illinois highways, they often have fatal outcomes. These crashes occur when a smaller vehicle, such as a car or motorcycle, collides with a large truck and slides underneath it.
This type of collision can have far-reaching effects due to the significant size and weight disparity between the two vehicles.
Why underride crashes are so dangerous
When a smaller vehicle slides under a truck, the truck’s rear structure can intrude into the passenger compartment, leading to severe head and neck injuries or fatalities for occupants. Passenger vehicles lack the necessary protective measures to withstand the force of a truck’s undercarriage. As a result, passengers in the smaller vehicle take the full brunt of the collision, and this may lead to serious injuries.
Who is at risk
While everyone on the road faces the risk of involvement in an underride crash, motorcyclists and bicyclists are particularly vulnerable due to their smaller size and lack of protective barriers. These accidents can result in fatal injuries for riders.
How to reduce risks
Enhanced safety measures are necessary in order to address the dangers of truck underride crashes. Trucking companies can help by investing in better rear guards and improved visibility aids for truck drivers. Safety advocates are also pushing for stricter regulations and technological advancements to reduce the frequency and severity of these accidents.
Per Frontline, more than 400 people died in truck underride crashes across the United States in 2021. However, some believe this estimate is low, citing varying state laws about what defines an “underride crash.”