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Side underride crashes claim 200 lives per year

Side underride crashes occur when a vehicle becomes trapped under the bed of a large truck. This description may conjure an iconic scene in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, where the Griswold's station wagon becomes trapped under a large truck. But in real life, these accidents are no laughing matter.

According to a recent report by NBC news, side underride crashes kill more than 200 people per year in the United States - often in grisly ways. In our next couple of posts, we'll explore the dangers of these crashes and why they continue to threaten motorists.

Why side underride crashes are so devastating

A car may become swept under a truck because of driver error, slippery roads or other unforeseen circumstances. When it happens, some of the car's critical safety features may be rendered useless, trapping the vehicle under the truck. Sometimes, the car is crushed under the rear wheels of the truck.

In addition, the top of the vehicle often gets sheared off in a side underride crash - especially on SUVs and other taller cars. This may result in decapitation of the driver or passengers, which creates a horrific crash scene.

Why hasn't the US taken action?

According to safety experts, many side underride crashes could be avoided if trucks were required to have side guards. So why aren't all large trucks equipped with these potentially life-saving devices?

In our next post, we'll discuss the regulatory landscape and explore why side guards have not become commonplace in the United States.

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