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Fatal I-95 Tractor Trailer Crash Underscores Need for Side Underride Legislation

Posted on Monday, May 11th, 2015

side underride guardA horrific fatal crash occurred this morning on I-95 North, just south of Jacksonville. Our thoughts are with the people and families involved. Initial reports indicate that a semi truck jack-knifed after trying to avoid another stopped tractor trailer in a road construction zone.  A passenger SUV was unable to stop and drove under the trailer, killing the driver. Then another passenger car was rear-ended by a third semi.

When a car ends up underneath a tractor trailer, it is called a side underride situation – and these types of crashes are completely avoidable with adequate regulation. Trucking companies in most all other countries are required to have side underride protection (guards that go along the undersides of the trailer, as pictured above) to prevent passenger vehicles and pedestrians from going under the trailer; and to have rear override protection to prevent semis that rear-end passenger cars from driving right over the car. The United States requires rear underride protection, but does not yet require side underride rear override protection.

These types of crashes are often catastrophic or fatal for the occupants of the passenger vehicles. So much so that the City of Boston now requires side underride protection for all commercial vehicles. Partner Joe Camerlengo is working with the AAJ Interstate Trucking Group’s side underride committee to try and get the same side underride and rear override protection that most other countries in the world require. It is essential to improving the safety of our highways.