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The terror of being trapped under a truck

On Behalf of | Jun 19, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

The outcome is usually the same. When a semi-truck meets up with a smaller vehicle, more vehicle and bodily damage will occur for drivers and passengers in the smaller transport.

Commercial truck accidents can take many forms. One of the more terrifying scenarios involves underride crashes where s smaller vehicle will move partially or entirely under the truck. In addition to the sheer terror, serious and potentially fatal injuries can result.

Simple solutions?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) claims that installing side underride guards could save more than ten times as many lives. Current standards only mandate tractor trailers to operate with underride guards on the back of their trucks, not the sides.

Installation is a costly undertaking. The initial cost-benefit analysis of such a mandate that would equip large trucks in fleets nationwide is between $973 million and $1.2 billion. Per year, accident forecasts see it stopping 17 deaths and 69 personal injuries.

However, statistics do not reveal other crashes that could benefit from the increased protections, precisely more than one single-passenger vehicle and tractor-trailer. Also not accounted for are crashes that happen when vehicles travel more than 40 miles per hour.

A separate study saw promising numbers, with 159 to 217 fatal accidents depending on protections forward of the rear axle or along the entire trailer’s length. In addition, fatalities involving bicyclists and motorcyclists would also be reduced.

While motor vehicle accidents are frightening, the notion of being trapped under a semi-tractor trailer represents pure terror. Simple steps to prevent those catastrophic events continue to be how scarce.