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What’s the difference between an override and an underride crash?

On Behalf of | Dec 13, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

A crash involving a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle can cause catastrophic damage. The major discrepancy in height and weight between the vehicles involved is one of the reasons that such crashes can prove devastating for the occupants of the smaller vehicle. The speed of the vehicles involved often determines the severity of the wreck.

High-speed commercial vehicle crashes can lead to both underride and override collisions. What separates an underride crash from an override collision?

The source of momentum is the main difference

Underride and override crashes are quite similar. Both scenarios involve a passenger vehicle ending up underneath a commercial truck, which can cause massive damage. The mechanics of how that occurs are the main difference between the two types of wrecks.

An override crash typically involves a commercial truck rear-ending a passenger vehicle. The cab could go up and over part of the passenger vehicle. An underride crash is similar but involves the exact opposite crash mechanics. The passenger vehicle strikes the commercial truck either from the side or the rear.

While there are rear underride guards required to prevent such collisions, side underride guards remain optional. Additionally, companies often install the cheapest underride guards that comply with federal requirements. These low-cost options may not provide the same caliber of protection as larger and stronger underride guards would. The design of the cabs or tractors for semi-trucks reflects concerns about override crashes. They typically have very low front clearance specifically to minimize the risk of such crashes occurring.

Those affected by an underride or override crash may have a completely disabled vehicle and severe injuries to address. Sometimes, people lose family members in these tragic collisions. Those affected by underride and override collisions may need to file a large insurance claim against a trucking company or pursue a personal injury lawsuit in some cases.

Learning more about different types of commercial vehicle collisions, and seeking legal guidance accordingly, may help people better respond after a wreck injures them or otherwise affects their family.