Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Wants Tougher Standards on Truck Under-Ride Guards

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is petitioning the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to institute tougher safety standards on the under-ride guards attached to the rear section of tractor trailers. Under-ride guards are designed to prevent passenger vehicles from sliding underneath tractor trailers in rear-end collisions. When a passenger vehicle slides underneath a tractor trailer, the result is often horrific, with the top section of the passenger vehicle shearing off.

According to new research conducted by the Insurance Institute, most tractor trailers are outfitted with under-ride guards that still allow a passenger vehicle to slide underneath the trailer, even when the car is going as slow as 35 miles per hour. Based on the data, the Insurance Institute believes that the federal minimum strength and dimension requirements for under-guards are inadequate and need to be improved.
USA TODAY reports that in 2011, 260 out of 2,241 passenger vehicle occupant deaths involving tractor trailers were under-ride crashes.