WASHINGTON—Shedding new light on the vulnerability of low-income Americans struggling in the face of a Mack truck, a report from the Brookings Institution confirmed Thursday that the poor are often hit hardest by 18-wheelers. “The economically disadvantaged face a great variety of challenges, but sometimes the single factor having the greatest impact on individuals earning less than $20,000 per year is a semi failing to stop and plowing into them as they attempt to cross the street,” said Brookings senior research fellow Tim Brownridge, adding that members of households living at or below the poverty line are typically unprepared to survive the full force of a tractor trailer barreling down the highway at 75 miles per hour. “Without exception, every person in this income bracket has a hard time recovering from a direct hit by a 40-ton big rig. The severe mark left on a financially struggling family of four by a fast-moving Peterbilt or Freightliner simply cannot be overstated.” The report follows a parallel study published last week that found the top 1 percent of American earners are often hit hardest by their own helicopter’s rotor blades.

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