Could a simple alteration to the average semi change the odds of survival for the occupants of a car when the semi and the car collide?
Thanks to innovations and design, regulations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and oversight by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), passenger cars have become safer than ever. Most passenger vehicles are designed to protect their occupants even if they get into a crash at 35 miles per hour — unless that crash happens to be with a semi.
If you’re in a passenger vehicle and you crash into the rear end of a trailer, you aren’t likely to walk away from the crash because the impact point is well above your car’s safety systems. That’s why many drivers suffer catastrophic injuries in passenger cars that collide with semi trucks.
If you are hit by a semi from the rear, the odds are high that it either won’t have rear under guards (because it isn’t mandated for all semis) or the under guards won’t be strong enough to prevent the upper part of your passenger cabin from being crushed.
All of this could easily be changed, according to the IIHS. Studies taken from the NHTSA indicate that around 423 lives each year could be saved if the United States required rear guards that are on par with the more stringent Canadian requirements for energy absorption and strength.
In the United States, side guards aren’t required, which means that the cabin of the passenger car in a side collision is bound to crumple inward by the time it comes to a stop partly under the side of the semi. Requiring side safety guards would drop the impact spot for cars in t-bone collisions, allowing more drivers to survive and passengers in the back to possibly walk away unscathed.
Anyone injured in an accident with a truck should seriously consider contacting an attorney to discuss the possibility of a personal injury claim.
Source: Carr Buzz, “Fatal Truck Accidents Completely Avoidable With Fuel-Saving Tech,” Gave Beita Kiser, May 18, 2017