no48 2004
Car Collision into Large Truck Rear-end  - Resulting in a Serious Accident -

  Rear-end collisions take up large part of road accidents, and ITARDA INFORMATION No.43 entitled "Why Do Rear-end Collisions Occur?" looked into driving errors involved in rear-end collisions. The analysis indicated the importance of eliminating driving errors in preventing rear-end collisions.
  Changing the angle of analysis, this issue deals with a) why rear-end collisions often result in serious injuries to the car driver and other occupants especially when a passenger car collides into the rear-end of a large truck, and b) what safeguards are provided on large trucks against rear-end collision and how effective they are.

1 Characteristics of Rear-end Collision Accidents
2 Effect of 'Improved' Underrun Protectors
3 Underrun Protectors on Smaller Trucks

  Rear-end collision is a frequent type of road accident, and as reported in ITARDA INFORMATION No.43 it often causes injury to the occupants of the vehicle hit from behind. But rear-end collision also causes injury, often serious or fatal, to the occupants of the vehicle hitting the rear-end of the preceding vehicle.
  Statistical analysis has proved the validity of the general belief that the collision of a passenger car into the rear-end of a large truck ends up with serious consequences. The analysis found that the fatality and serious injury rate of such a car rises if the counterpart truck is large and carries a heavy load. It is therefore important to stay alert and keep a sufficient headway distance especially when driving behind a truck.
  While airbags, for example, are designed to protect the occupants of the vehicle, underrun protectors are intended to moderate injury to the occupants of the counterpart vehicle in an accident. The use of the latter type of safety devices is increasing thank to the efforts of government, automakers and users, and efforts to reduce accidents and to alleviate injuries will be continued.At the same time it remains most important that drivers do their best to avoid accidents and, in the event of an accident, to lessen injury whether or not safety devices are fully installed. For these purposes, drivers need to conduct the followings:
    * Watch forward carefully, and concentrate on driving.
    * Keep a sufficient headway distance, especially when behind a large truck.
    * Drive at a safe speed, that is, below the speed limit set by law.
    * Hold a driving posture ready to make appropriate steering and braking operation.
    * Be sure to wear the seatbelt.
These precautions will save the car drivers and passengers from the risks of rear-end collisions.

Institute for Traffic Accident Research and Data Analysis (ITARDA)