10 Scary Crash Tests: Safety Systems Really Matter

2. Truck Under-Ride Guard Failure

Frightened of a big rig on the highway? You should be. This video shows just how important a proper under-ride guard at the back of a big truck really is—and why we should fight for better safety standards on trucks. In a rear-end collision with a semi-trailer, most cars are so small that the hood slides right underneath the truck’s trailer, leaving the windshield to take the brunt of the collision. This usually means that the trailer is pushed through the windshield with devastating results to the car’s occupants. An under-ride guard is a bar that hangs down from the back of the trailer with the purpose of stopping the car from going underneath the trailer.

A good solid under-ride guard works well. Unfortunately, there are no federal regulations in place to ensure that all trailers have this device. If a car hits the trailer to one side rather than dead on, the under-ride guard can bend and give way, allowing a portion of the car to still slide under the trailer. Federal regulations are needed to ensure that all trailers are outfitted with heavy-duty under-ride guards that will withstand a rear-end collision. This particular crash test shows the devastating results if the under-ride guard fails or is not installed properly.