Latest Crash Tests Show Underride Guards Ineffective: Passengers At Risk in Certain Crashes

In a recent edition of TruckAccident Magazine, the editorial staff included valuable details the public should know regarding underride guards on big rigs. Here is an excerpt from that article:

Modern semitrailers for the most part do a good job of keeping pas­senger vehicles from sliding un­derneath them, greatly increasing the chances of surviving a crash into the back of a large truck, recent tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) show. But in crashes involving only a small portion of the truck’s rear, most trailers fail to prevent potentially deadly underride.

Most semitrailers are required to have underride guards. These are steel bars that hang from the backs of trailers to prevent the front of a passenger vehicle from moving underneath during a crash. Earlier research showed that the minimum strength and dimensions required for un­derride guards are inadequate, prompting the Institute to peti­tion the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2011 for tougher standards. The Institute also asked the agency to consider applying the standards to other types of large trucks such as dump trucks that aren’t required to have any underride guards.

Although NHTSA hasn’t respond­ed yet, trailer manufacturers al­ready are installing guards that are much stronger than the agency requires. These guards generally work well to prevent underride, except in crashes occurring at the outer edges of trailers, the crash tests show.

Read this full report, from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and others like it at TruckAccidentMagazine.com. Call Lori Tepper at APITLAmerica today at 888-772-4852, to learn more about TruckAccident Magazine.  Also, learn more about putting the brakes on unsafe trucking companies online at http://www.apitlamerica.com – APITLA is serving America’s truck accident victims.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is an independent, nonprofit scientific and educational organization dedicated to reducing the losses — deaths, injuries and property damage — from crashes on the nation’s roads. The Institute is wholly supported by auto insurers. This report came from the March 14 news release from the IIHS at www. iihs.org/news/rss/pr031413.html.

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