Houston Truck Underride Accidents
1 Riverway, Suite 2500
Houston, Texas 77056
It seems that almost every week there is a newspaper article or a television news story about a traffic accident involving a tractor-trailer rig and an automobile where the automobile struck the rear of the trailer, killing everyone in the automobile. These accidents, called ‘underride accidents,” are among the most horrific scenes first responders such as law enforcement and EMS personnel will encounter during their careers.
Underride accidents almost always involve the tearing away of the roof of the striking vehicle. As the roof is sheared away, the driver and any passenger receive such devastating injuries that it is common for no one to survive the accident. Many times the victims in underride accidents are members of the same family.
Traffic accident research has shown that the most common location for underride accidents is on an Interstate Highway and in a location where a tractor-trailer rig is moving more slowly than other traffic, such as on and off ramps at rest areas and near truck stops.
There are a number of situations that can occur in these locations that have led to underride accidents, such as:
- sudden braking by a truck to avoid another vehicle that is moving slower than the traffic flow
- a truck making an unsafe or improper turn by crossing a lane of traffic or failing to make sure that the truck’s “blind spots” are free of other traffic
- a tractor-trailer rig may not have had proper maintenance which led to non-functioning or malfunctioning turn signals or brake lights
There are also other locations that, although they are not near on and off ramps, are likely to be the scenes of underride accidents. These areas include:
- stretches of highway containing upgrades that cause a tractor-trailer to slow down while climbing
- areas that are known to become fogbound under the proper weather conditions
- highway construction zones where there are abrupt lane shifts and/or lane narrowing
Regardless of these high risk areas and possible contributing factors, the same accident research has also shown that the most common cause of an underride accident is that the driver of the striking vehicle was not aware that the tractor-trailer rig was about to make an abrupt lane change or that the big rig was moving considerably slower than the rest of the traffic flow.
Many Underride Accidents Could Have Been Prevented
It is obvious that many underride accidents could have been prevented if the tractor-trailer driver had used his flashing warning lights to alert other drivers that he had reduced speed. It is also known that such accidents could have been avoided if the driver had moved into the right lane, or even into the emergency lane, while he was slowing down. In other cases the driver should have pulled off the road as soon as he became aware that his turn signals or brake lights had malfunctioned or exercised a greater degree of caution when changing lanes.
Call the Underride Accident Lawyer at the Doan Law Firm
As we have seen, many underride accidents could have been prevented if the company that owned the truck had performed proper maintenance, or if the driver had been more careful in his driving, or even if the driver had taken the proper actions when he encountered adverse weather or road conditions.
If you have been involved in a Houston-area underride truck accident, or have lost a family member in such an accident, you should call the truck accident lawyer at the Doan Law Firm to learn if your accident may have been preventable. The truck accident attorney at the Doan Law Firm will be able to tell you if your accident might result in a claim against the driver, his employer, or both.
You can call the Houston-area underride accident attorney at the Doan Law Firm today at 832-835-0000 to arrange your free case evaluation.
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