Friday, May 6, 2011

Don't tail gate that big-rig.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently found that the rear underride guards on big-rig trailers fail to protect automobile occupants from injury even in low speed crashes.  The rear underride guard is a fancy name for the slim iron bar that attempts to prevent your car from sliding underneath the trailer of the truck. 

I've often traveled down the highway at normal freeway speeds and noticed that if we were to run into the trailer for some reason, we would be guillotined.  The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety confirms my suspicions.  Current underride guards are wholly insufficient to prevent an obvious hazard.  Manufactures, carriers and brokers for years have resisted any type of regulatory change, which has resulted in the continued use of unsafe underride guards. 

The continued use of the known hazardous underride guards will result in unnecessary wrongful death, traumatic brain injuries, amputations, spinal cord injuries, and other catastrophic injuries. 

The technology is available that would keep all of us more safe on our nation's busy highways, but many operators and carriers do not require the safer and stronger underride guards.  The result of unsafe underride guards can be seen in the photo results of the test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:

 Clearly, the passenger in the top photo has a much better survival chance then in the lower photo.  Unsafe underride guards were used in the bottom photo.  So, the next time you are staring down a metal bar on the back of a big-rig, back off the gas a little and be aware that there is little preventing your car from going underneath the undercarriage of a big-rig.

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