Underride Truck Accidents: A Hidden Threat on America’s Roads


Underride truck accidents are a devastating and often fatal type of collision that occurs when a passenger vehicle slides beneath the side or rear of a large commercial truck. Despite the alarming frequency of these truck accidents and the catastrophic injuries they cause, federal safety regulators have failed to take adequate measures to prevent them.

If you’ve been injured in an underride truck accident, call for a free consultation with an Orlando Truck Accident Attorney at the Martinez Manglardi personal injury law firm.

The Grim Reality of Underride Truck Accidents

Underride collisions involving large commercial trucks and passenger vehicles are alarmingly common in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 400 people died in underride crashes in 2021 alone. However, experts believe the true number of fatalities may be even higher due to the agency’s longstanding issues with accurately counting underride collisions.

A harrowing example of the tragic consequences of underride crashes occurred in 2017 when Ricardo Marcos’ Hyundai Elantra slammed into a truck pulling a 53-foot trailer, becoming wedged beneath it. The impact was so severe that it tore the top half of Marcos’ car apart, resulting in fatal injuries. Sadly, Marcos is just one of hundreds of victims who have lost their lives in underride collisions in recent years.

The Role of Federal Regulators in Underride Truck Accidents

For at least five decades, the NHTSA has been aware of the dangers posed by underride crashes. In collaboration with ProPublica and FRONTLINE, reporters obtained thousands of government documents related to underride collisions, revealing a troubling history of inaction and disregard for public safety. Year after year, the NHTSA failed to implement simple safety measures that could have significantly reduced the risk of underride accidents.

One reason for the NHTSA’s failure to act is its inability to accurately determine the scale of the problem due to poor data collection efforts. Furthermore, records show that the agency has often deferred to the trucking industry, whose lobbyists argue that safety measures would be too costly and damaging to the American economy.

Understanding Underride Accidents in Florida and Beyond

underride truck accidents

In Florida, as in other states, truck underride accidents can be classified into two main types: rear underride collisions and side underride collisions. Rear underride collisions occur when a passenger vehicle crashes into the rear of a truck and slides beneath it, while side underride collisions happen when a passenger vehicle slides under the side of a truck’s trailer.

A variety of factors can contribute to underride accidents, including weather conditions, driver negligence, improper use of underride guards, inadequate lighting, and poor truck maintenance.

The Importance of Underride Guards and Proper Maintenance

Underride guards are steel bars that hang from trucks to prevent passenger vehicles from sliding beneath them during a collision. Unfortunately, these guards are not always used or maintained correctly, rendering them ineffective in preventing underride accidents.

In addition to underride guards, proper lighting and maintenance are crucial for reducing the risk of underride collisions. Truck drivers and trucking companies must ensure that their vehicles are well-maintained and equipped with functioning lights to improve visibility for other drivers on the road.

Liability and Compensation in Underride Accident Cases

Determining liability in underride accident cases can be complex, as multiple parties may be at fault. Truck drivers, trucking companies, and even truck manufacturers may be held responsible for underride accidents, depending on the circumstances. An experienced truck accident attorney can help establish liability and guide victims through the process of pursuing compensation for their injuries.

Victims of underride accidents may be eligible for compensation to cover medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other out-of-pocket costs. In cases involving fatalities, survivors may also be able to recover damages for their economic losses and emotional distress.

Taking Action: The Need for Improved Safety Regulations and Legal Assistance

Although underride accidents continue to plague America’s roads, there is hope for change. Advocates for improved safety regulations argue that stricter standards and enforcement could significantly reduce the number of underride collisions and save lives. In the meantime, it is crucial for those affected by underride accidents to seek legal assistance from experienced truck accident attorneys.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an underride truck accident, it is important to retain a skilled attorney as soon as possible. The Orlando Truck Accident attorneys at the Martinez Manglardi personal injury law firm are committed to helping victims navigate the complexities of underride truck accident cases and secure the compensation they deserve. To schedule a free consultation with our legal team, call 866-506-3286.

We get paid only if we win.

Fill out a free case evaluation and discover what Martinez Manglardi can do for you.