A total of 4,102 people died in truck crashes in 2017, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The majority of those people (82 percent) were occupants of other vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorists. The most common fatal injury in trucking accidents is being crushed by falling in the exposed space between the front and rear wheels of a truck. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, truck crashes are more likely to be side impact crashes. In fact, between 2005 and 2009, 556 pedestrians and bicyclists in the U.S. were killed after side-impacts with trucks.
Lives can be saved by implementing measures to help prevent side-impacts with trucks. One such measure is the installation of side guards on trucks with high ground clearance. A number of studies conducted in the United Kingdom, Australia, Sweden, and the Netherlands show that side guards dramatically decrease the number of fatalities in trucking accidents. After truck side guards were mandated in the U.K., cyclist fatalities dropped 61 percent and pedestrian fatalities dropped 20 percent for side-impact accidents.