Trailer manufacturers are developing a new generation of underride guards, designs that are proving capable of withstanding more severe performance standards than those specified by current National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regulations.

On May 5, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducted Truck Underride Roundtable, a day-long event attended by truck trailer manufacturers as well as safety advocates, attorneys, and academics.  Midway through the program, IIHS tested a new guard developed by Stoughton Trailers.  The goal:  to withstand a 35 mph impact and prevent the rear of the trailer from penetrating the passenger compartment. 

These series of videos, courtesy of IIHS, show how this 30% offset test is conducted and how this new generation guard performed.

View clip 1 ⟩⟩ The crash as seen from above
A 30% offset crash concentrates the force of the impact on a fraction of the underride guard.

View clip 2 ⟩⟩ Driving the car into the rear of the trailer
A 2010 Chevrolet Malibu strikes the rear of the trailer at 35 mph.

View clip 3 ⟩⟩ The impact from the driver's perspective
The airbag deploys, and the guard successfully prevents the car from running underneath the trailer.

View clip 4 ⟩⟩ Trajectory of the car in a 30% offset crash
The guard withstands the impact, causing the car to rotate away from the trailer.

View clip 5 ⟩⟩ How the guard responds to the impact
The new design features a vertical supports at each end of horizontal member of the guard. This provides additional strength and helps the guard and trailer absorb much of the energy of the impact.

(Videos courtesy of the IIHS)

Read the related article here: Trailer manufacturers meet tougher underride standards