I have seen quite a few underride guard crash tests in the last two years. It’s not something I ever planned to do and it is never easy. Some of them ended in severe underride and it always shakes me up at how quickly life can change forever. In a matter of seconds.
The crash test I viewed at IIHS on January 19, 2017, was particularly hard to watch. It was a test of Great Dane’s newly designed rear underride guard. A Great Dane trailer was what our Crown Vic collided with on May 4, 2013 — with tragic results.
Demonstration of Improvement in Rear Underride Guard; Great Dane Trailers Crash Test at IIHS, January 19, 2017:
They have proven that creative minds can come up with better underride protection. The cars are damaged from the crash, but underride and Passenger Compartment Intrusion (PCI) are prevented. Lives are preserved.
Here is a Youtube video, posted by Cars-Trucks TV, which demonstrates the effectiveness of the improved rear underride guards designed by five of the major trailer manufacturers — Great Dane, Manac, Stoughton, Vanguard, and Wabash — from 2013 to 2017. They received a Toughguard award from IIHS — as announced on March 1, 2017.
Last year, about this time, I posted this: March Historically a Momentous Month for Truck Underride Safety Advocacy; Beware the Ides of March!
Here is an excerpt: It is my fervent hope that, when March 2017 rolls around, we will be celebrating a vastly improved federal standard–enthusiastically and immediately adopted by the trucking industry–for all-around-the-truck underride protection at higher speeds, including now-exempt single unit trucks as well as retrofitted to existing trucks and trailers.
If this seems like a costly venture, try comparing it to the price paid by thousands upon thousands of individuals and families during the past decades of ineffective underride protection–added to the countless precious people who will be saved in the years to come from tragic, preventable death by underride.
We aren’t finished yet, but we have come a long ways!