Under-ride guard testing regulation needs upgrade: study
Arlington, VA – Under-ride guards on large trucks and trailers can fail in relatively low-speed crashes and result in deadly consequences, according to a crash test analysis released March 1 by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
IIHS analyzed case files from the federal Large Truck Crash Causation Study – a federal database of roughly 1,000 real-world crashes from 2001 to 2003 – to identify crash patterns leading to rear under-ride, which occurs when the front end of a vehicle slides beneath the back of a large truck.
IIHS also conducted crash tests with vehicles traveling at 35 mph and found vulnerabilities in guards that comply with U.S. rules. Additional findings show:
- 115 of the 1,000 real-world crashes that occurred between 2001 and 2003 involved a passenger vehicle striking the back of a heavy truck or semi-trailer.
- Only 22 percent of the crashes did not involve under-ride or had only negligible under-ride.
- In 23 of the 27 cases in which someone in the passenger vehicle died, severe or catastrophic under-ride damage occurred.
IIHS sent a petition (.pdf file) to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asking the agency to upgrade the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards on rear-impact protection for semi-trailers. The study (.pdf file) appeared in IIHS’s Status Report.