The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety issued a report last year that indicates guards designed to prevent “underride” – a result that typically involves a passenger vehicle getting trapped beneath a higher tractor-trailer after a collision – are often inadequate or not being used at all.
As part of the study, the IIHS reviewed more than 1,000 crashes. Of the 115 accidents in which a passenger vehicle hit the rear of a commercial vehicle, 78 percent reported an occurrence of underride. In 23 of 28 fatal truck accidents, the IIHS reported “catastrophic underride damage.” In those cases, a passenger car typically continues forward after striking a large truck until the roof of the car is pinned below the weight of the truck. Semis should be equipped with guards that comply with current requirements, but the IIHS study reveals that many of those guards fail even in low-speed collisions.
For more information, visit iihs.org.
TRUCK ACCIDENT FAST FACT: The United States Department of Transportation estimates that over 500,000 truck accidents occur every year.