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Underride crashes attracting attention in Boston

As anyone in Hartford knows, tractor trailers are about five times the size of a passenger vehicle and can weigh anywhere from 20-30 times more, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. As such, it is no surprise that these big rigs have the capacity to cause a lot of damage when they collide with other objects. They also require a lot of room to maneuver in and with trailers that have a wide distance from the road, it is not uncommon for cars to get caught underneath them.

These types of crashes are referred to as underrides. It is believed that one way to protect others on the road is to install rear and side guards on the trucks’ trailers, which would essentially prevent the vehicle from going completely beneath the trailer and thereby, protect the driver and passengers inside. One test showed the effectiveness of the guard when a sedan traveling at 35 miles per hour, hit the trailer’s rear guard.

While guards are not required by law, some trailer manufacturers are starting to include them in their designs. Still, there is more work that needs to be done, including educating motorists on the importance of road safety around these big rigs. It is advised that if a truck is trying to turn right, motorists should avoid trying to pass it on the right. Another safety tip is for motorists to position themselves where they can see the truck driver. In this way, the trucker will be able to see them. Boston has seen several of these types of crashes and was present recently at an underride crash roundtable for the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety.

Injuries from a truck accident can be severe. Therefore, people may find it helpful to meet with an attorney.

Source:, “Why Boston is taking ‘underride’ crashes seriously,” Bill Griffith, May 15, 2016

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