An underride guard is intended to prevent a car from sliding under the rear end of a large truck, such as a tractor-trailer rig. While a large truck that is equipped with a functional underride guard can significantly increase the chances of surviving a rear-end crash with that truck or trailer, most guards have been unsuccessful in preventing deadly and catastrophic outcomes, according to crash tests conducted by The Insurance Institute since 2010.
When most vehicles slide under the rear end of a large truck, the top of the car --- hood, windshield and roof -- typically absorb the brunt of the impact. Adequate underride guards must necessarily prevent the intrusion of automobile bumpers under a large truck, in order for seatbelts and airbags to protect auto occupants from catastrophic injuries or death.
Although in 1998 the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration issued a mandate requiring that all trailers, including those pulled by big rigs and semis, that weigh 10,000 pounds or more, be equipped with an underride guard, the US standards fall short of their intended purpose unless passenger compartment intrusion is prevented. Hopefully further study and consideration of successful Canadian standards will result in an upgraded safety standard that will save lives in tractor trailer and big rig crashes.
Contact the St. Louis large truck attorneys of The Glassman Law Firm at 314-446-6000 if you or a loved one has be injured or killed in a collision with a large truck.