The objectives of the study were to determine whether current estimates of the frequency of underride in car-truck accidents differ from 1970 estimates (200 annually nationwide) and to learn more about these types of collisions. All fatal accidents for Michigan (1972-76) and Texas (1975-76) were filtered for cases of passenger cars rear-ending or side impacting a large truck or tractor trailer. The police accident reports were examined, accident scene photos were analyzed, and available investigating police were interviewed, to determine accident configurations, whether car underride occurred, and, if so, to what degree. In each case relative impact speed was estimated. The chief finding was that the annual rate of such accidents is at least 450 and may reach 570, and 90% of the rear-ends and 75% of the side impacts result in underride. Among other findings, such accidents usually occur at night on straight rural roads, most involved drivers are males of about any age, drinking involvement is about the same degree found in all fatal accidents, relative impact speeds, especially in side impacts, usually exceeded 30 mph. It was concluded that better underride guards, with energy absorbing capabilities and enhanced conspicuity of trucks and trailers would reduce but not eliminate such accidents.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Sponsored in part by Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association of the United States, Inc., Detroit, Mich.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Highway Safety Research Institute

    Huron Parkway and Baxter Road
    Ann Arbor, MI  United States  48109

    Motor Vehicles Manufacturers Association

    320 New Center Building
    Detroit, MI  United States  48202
  • Authors:
    • Minahan, D J
    • O'Day, J
  • Publication Date: 1977-10

Media Info

  • Pagination: 46 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00169694
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: UM-HSRI-77-49
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 14 1978 12:00AM