Do Tractor Trailer Underride Guards Work? The Answer May Surprise You.

Have you ever noticed the underride guard on the back of a tractor trailer? You know, the bar that hangs down to the height of a car so that, if a vehicle strikes it, the car does not go under the truck?

Does it make you feel safe?

Does it make you feel a little better, knowing that if something were to happen, you wouldn’t end up under the truck?

Well, how does it make you feel to know that, in many cases, they don’t work?

These underride bars, which are supposed to prevent vehicles from ending up under the semi, can fail – and not just when struck at high speeds. They fail when struck at relatively low speeds – about 35 mph to be exact.

This is an alarming discovery which was recently unveiled by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). After analyzing case files from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Large Truck Crash Causation Study, they observed that underride was a common factor in most fatal truck crashes. They decided to conduct a test of various tractor trailer underride guards to see how and why they fail and at what speeds, but they weren’t expecting to find such a high failure rate at such low speeds.

They concluded that, even if you are riding in a vehicle that earns top marks in frontal crash tests, your chances of walking away from even a relatively low-speed crash are not good if the truck’s underride guard fails – or isn’t there at all.

Underride standards have not kept pace with passenger vehicle standards and need to be improved; therefore, the IIHS is petitioning that the NHTSA become more stringent in their regulations on tractor trailer underride guard standards.

If someone you love has been fatally injured in a Pennsylvania truck wreck because of an underride that buckled or failed, you need to seek experienced representation. Contact a Pennsylvania fatal truck accident attorney at Cordisco & Saile today. They will meet with you, for free, to answer your questions and talk to you about your rights to compensation after losing a loved one in a Pennsylvania tractor trailer wreck.