I asked DOT for a breakdown of truck underride deaths by type: front, side, and rear. I just received that chart today.
From 1994 to 2014, this is the breakdown of Deaths by Underride:
Collision at Front of the Truck: 625
Collision at Side of the Truck: 1534
Collision at Rear of the Truck: 1715
Collision Site Unknown: 132
Total Underride Deaths Reported: 4,006
Of course, we need to remember that these figures do not include all underride deaths as it is well-known that they are commonly under-reported.
So why are trucks sold without side guards? (Why on earth would this be an optional feature?!) And why does NHTSA not mandate side guards?
Sign our petition to NHTSA to initiate rulemaking on side guards: Mandate Side Guards On Large Trucks To End Deadly Side Underride Crashes