According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 301 of the 1,542 car occupants killed in collisions with a tractor-trailer in 2015 died when their vehicle struck the side of the rig. Another 292 died when their vehicle struck the rear. The institute’s researchers estimate that half the fatal crashes between large trucks and passenger vehicles involve underride, which makes air bags and other crash protection ineffective because the top half of the car is sheared off. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says side guards could prevent hundreds of deaths per year in the U.S. This spring, the institute crashed a car into a trailer equipped with a side guard called AngelWing, a steel rail covered with fiberglass. The car’s front end crumpled but the test dummy was protected by the air bags and seat belt. Without the guard, the passenger compartment was sheared off, causing devastating head injuries to the dummy.
MARY ESCH Associated Press, Yahoo News
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From the Texas Trial Lawyers Association news release.