A 22 year-old car driver died in Brownstown Township in Michigan last week when his car went under the rear of a tractor trailer.
Rear end collisions with tractor trailers continue to be a problem in the US, with at least 260 similar deaths in 2011 where cars went under the rear of trucks.
Experts say that the US continues to lag behind Canada and Europe when it comes to truck under rail safety features.
Most trailers are equipped with under guard rails in the US, but they simply do not have enough strength to withstand an impact of 60 or 70 MPH.
Some safety advocates say that trucking companies have powerful lobbyists in Washington DC and in state capitals, and are effective in preventing stricter safety legislation from being passed.
This case indicates the importance of car drivers to understand the higher risks of driving around big rigs. We deal with a lot of serious truck accident cases in our law firm in Virginia, and many people do not realize just how much damage a crash with a truck can cause. A car weighs just 4000 pounds or so, and a fully loaded tractor trailer can weight 20 times as much. So, if your car slams into the rear of a trailer, the tractor trailer is going to win every time.
We saw this exact tragic event occur in one of our truck rear end case, in which we won a $21 million settlement for our client, a child who suffered a severe brain injury.
And while trucking companies are required to obey many safety regulations, the reality is that safety regulations often are a compromise between safety and profitability. So, please use extra care when driving anywhere near a truck, and stay safe.