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What Are Underride Accidents?

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Picture of a rear guard on a tractor-trailer

Truck accidents can cause severe injuries and fatalities, even when trucks travel at low speeds. One of the most fatal types of truck-related accidents just so happens to be from an underride. In this blog, our Nashville truck accident attorneys will explain the details of this type of accident, including what the aftermath for an underride survivor may look like.

Underride Accidents

Underride accidents occur when a smaller vehicle slides under the trailer of a larger one. These accidents are so dangerous because the trailer's weight can easily crush the smaller car. In addition, the impact of the collision can cause the smaller vehicle's occupants to be ejected from their seats.

Types of Underride Accidents

Underride accidents can be broken up into two categories:

  • Slide underride accidents - These types of accidents occur when a smaller vehicle slips under the side of the trailer portion of a tractor-trailer, which will most likely result in a missing roof of the vehicle. These accidents are mostly caused when truck drivers cannot see you in their rearview mirrors.
  • Rear underride accidents - These accidents occur when a smaller vehicle slips under the rear of the truck. These typically happen when a truck stops suddenly and the other vehicle is not paying attention or driving too close. This is also common when trucks are parked on the side of the road in dim lighting.


These types of accidents are caused due to negligence on both sides. Some examples of common causes of underride accidents include:

  • A smaller vehicle tailgating the semi-truck too closely.
  • A smaller vehicle driving at excessive speed and not braking fast enough.
  • A smaller vehicle failing to see the semi-truck marked on the side of the road/highway.
  • A semi-truck negligently turning or stopping.
  • A semi-truck negligently running a red light.

Proper safety precautions must be taken to keep those on the road safe. We recommend that truck drivers use reflective tape, safety cones, and flashlights when parking their vehicles on the side of the road.


To help prevent smaller vehicles from driving underneath a large truck, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has mandated that all trailers must have underride guards in the rear of their trailer. Studies have shown that stronger and more up-to-date underride guards are effective at preventing cars from sliding underneath the trailer during a collision.

Currently, there are no mandates requiring guards on the side of trailers. There are also zero mandates that require truck drivers to upgrade their underride guards after a certain amount of time.

Common Injuries

A truck’s size plays a critical role in the severity of a person’s injuries. While most underride accidents are fatal, very few are able to walk away with broken bones or shoulder injuries. Some common injuries from an underride accident include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Loss of limbs
  • Internal bleeding

These injuries are devastating and hard to recover from. You shouldn’t have to worry about medical expenses while recovering from your injury. Let us help you.

Truck Accident Attorneys

If you've been involved in such an accident, it's important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible. Our experienced truck accident attorneys at Law Office of Stanley A. Davis will be able to review the details of your case and help you determine the best course of action. You shouldn't have to bear the brunt of someone else's negligence, and with compassionate legal assistance, you may be able to obtain the justice and compensation you deserve.

Contact our firm at (615) 866-3938 or visit our website to fill out a consultation request form.