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The Horror of Being “Sandwiched” Between Vehicles

American drivers spend a lot of time behind the wheel – perhaps even more than you would expect. Between work, leisure, children’s activities, and chores, it seems like there is always another necessary trek. According to AAA, the average American driver is on the road for approximately 293 hours per year. That is the equivalent of more than seven 40-hour work weeks!

With all that driving, it is not surprising that many motor vehicle accidents occur. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that there are approximately 13 car wrecks every minute across the United States. These accidents happen in almost every way imaginable. 

Perhaps one of the scariest types of automobile or truck accidents is being “sandwiched” by two or more other vehicles. This blog post will discuss that horror and how it happens.

How Can A Car Be Sandwiched Between Two Trucks?

It probably doesn’t need much explanation, but being “sandwiched” colloquially means that your vehicle gets trapped between two or more other cars, often crushed. It can happen in several ways, and the results are sometimes horrific. Below we will give a couple of typical examples.

Front and back 

In some instances, the victim’s car trails another car or truck when struck from behind. This can lead to the victim’s car being crushed from both the front and back. This can be especially horrific when a passenger automobile is sandwiched between two semi-trucks. We have linked a video that shows what such an accident can look like. Not only can a car sandwiched between two trucks be crushed, but it can also be violently pushed underneath the truck in the front.


Side to side

Another way you may see a car sandwiched between two trucks is when two vehicles on either side of the victim’s vehicle close in. A dash cam caught footage of a car being squeezed between a tanker truck and a bus on the interstate as the victim’s car was passing between the two vehicles. The footage illustrates how quickly a driver can be put into a dangerous situation.

The footage of the examples provided above did not occur in Oregon. However, Oregon drivers are not immune to these dangerous situations. For instance, a crash occurred on Interstate 5 in western Oregon in May of 2023. A passenger van was involved in a collision with two semi-trucks. Seven people died, and additional people were injured. A witness opined that the van was sandwiched between the two trucks.

Keep in mind that these trucks are enormous and can crush automobiles. An unloaded semi-truck tractor can weigh between 10,000 and 25,000 pounds. An unloaded trailer weighs approximately 10,000 pounds. Thus, an unloaded tractor-trailer together can weigh 35,000 pounds. When tractor-trailer trucks are loaded, the law permits them to weigh up to 80,000 pounds.

Being Sandwiched Is Not Just for Automobiles

Unfortunately, there are many examples of bicyclists and motorcyclists being sandwiched between motor vehicles. These circumstances present extreme danger, given that the riders are essentially unprotected.

Call with Questions

If you have been in a multi-vehicle accident, you will likely have questions about your rights. Determining questions of liability and how insurance coverages apply can be more complicated when multiple vehicles are involved. We will also be glad to help you better understand your rights and the value of your case. The personal injury lawyers at Nelson MacNeil Rayfield are experienced in handling all types of accidents, and are ready to answer your questions in a free consultation.