We read recently of a horrific crash involving a passenger car a tractor trailer. Federal agencies are investigating the wreck because they are concerned that the Tesla sedan might have been in self-driving Autopilot mode at the time of the crash with the 18-wheeler.

While that is certainly an aspect of this fatal wreck that should be examined carefully, another aspect of this tragedy reminded us of an aspect of truck accidents that is too often ignored.

According to an accident report by local law enforcement, the driver of the Tesla was killed when his vehicle went underneath the big rig as it made a left turn. The police report said the Tesla continued traveling for about three-tenths of a mile afterwards.

According to the report, the truck pulled “into the path” of the car right before the deadly collision.

This type of terrible crash happens far too often: a vehicle hits the side of a tractor trailer and goes underneath because its hood is lower than the side of the 18-wheeler. That means that the car’s point of impact is not at its front, but rather at the windshield. And that, of course, means there’s grave danger of severe injuries or death for the car’s driver and any passengers.

According to research done by the Advancement of Automotive Medicine, about 200 people per year are killed in side-underride crashes. These accidents do not include underride crashes involving the front or back of large commercial trucks.

If you or your family has been harmed in a crash involving a large truck, speak to a St. Louis attorney experienced in personal injury and wrongful death litigation.