Tag Archives: front override

Front Underride Protection Research; Why don’t we have FUP in the U.S.?

People die, on a regular basis, when their car goes under the front of a large truck. Europe has a Front Underride Protection standard for large trucks. Here is some research on this topic to help inform U.S. lawmakers, regulators, and industry leaders on how we can bring this added level of protection to our roads.

  1. Heavy Truck Front Underride Protection Devices Design Principles, International Journal of Vehicle Systems Modelling & Testing, Vol. 6, No. 2, 2011
  2. Heavy truck front-end deployable system opportunities for crash compatibility with passenger vehicles, Keith Friedman, D. Mihora, & J. Hutchinson, Pages 1-12 | Received 07 Aug 2015, Accepted 31 Jan 2017, Published online: 22 Feb 2017,  ABSTRACT
    By 2030, substantial increases in the number of heavy trucks are expected to be on roadways throughout the United States. Currently, 3000 to 5000 occupant fatalities occur in the vehicles impacted by heavy trucks. A significant portion of these engage with the front end of the heavy truck. The use of radar systems has been shown to significantly mitigate many of these rear-end crashes. In this study, the use of deployable front-end airbags is evaluated in terms of the potential effects on passenger vehicles when they are struck in the front or rear by the front of a heavy truck. A virtual testing methodology for the evaluation of various designs under impact conditions is described. The study reports on the potential effects of radar-activated, heavy-truck, front-end airbag systems on crash mitigation in front- and rear-end impacts.
  3.  Rear underride crashes are easier to address than front or side ones, IIHS Status Report, Status Report, Vol. 48, No. 2 | March 14, 2013, Front underride guards, which are required in the EU to protect vehicle occupants in crashes with combined speeds of about 35 mph, also might prevent some deaths. An earlier Institute study of fatal truck crashes in Indiana found that 9 out of 44 front underride crashes might have been survivable in the absence of underride (see “FARS undercounts fatal large truck-car underride crashes,” Feb. 15, 1997).
  4. SuperTruck project for fuel efficiency might also provide better front underrun protection with tractor design. In trucking today, it seems nothing is off the table when it comes to enhancing vehicle fuel efficiencies. Old technologies are being reexamined, while new ones are studied and tested. A new era of ultra-clean, ultra-efficient trucks is just around the corner, likely putting old-style, long-nosed, slab-grilled rigs out to pasture once and for all. See SuperTruck tractor photos here: Fuel Smarts The Future of Fuel Economy, Truckinginfo.com, by Jack Roberts, June 2016
  5.   Design of a Tractor for Optimised Safety and Fuel Consumption 3.4 Future Design Concept Trucks
    The EC funded integrated project Advanced PROtection SYStems “APROSYS” is one of the most important projects for this study because it is intended to start this project based on these results. In the APROSYS project a safety concept for commercial vehicles which is able to deflect a vulnerable road user (VRU: pedestrians and cyclists) sideways in case of an accident by using the impact impulse was developed. The achieved deflection reduces the risk of a run over. A tapered truck front has been designed and analysed that allows additional deformation space for frontal collisions. Such a front shape can be realised by an add-on structure mountable to the front or by a fully integrated concept as shown in Fig. 3-13. In this project the integrated concept will be scaled to a 40 t-HGV truck.                                                                                                             During the development phase of the new front structure in APROSYS a large number of design versions were generated and assessed. The resulting final principal shape was compared to the basic truck in various numerical simulations with different accident scenarios, pedestrian models and parameter settings. Due to the deflection principle, which is used in the rounded front design for the weakest traffic participants, the structure underneath can be designed mainly for protecting the heavy vehicle’s occupants and integrating partner protection relating to passenger vehicles (improved compatibility). The deflection is not only a solution for the protection of pedestrians, but also reduces the impact energy introduced into the heavy vehicle and the passenger car in a HGV-to-car-accident.
    Such a convex truck front can significantly reduce the risk of a run over for VRU and also deflect passenger cars. In addition, it provides a crush zone for energy absorption. The enhanced passive safety could be shown in avoiding serious rollover accidents by 87.5 % of the simulated cases in APROSYS [FAS08].
    Another concept truck shown in Fig. 3-14 was presented at the IAA Commercial Vehicles
    2002 in Hannover. The Aero Safety Truck is a semi-trailer tractor for long-distance transport.

    http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/esv/esv21/09-0323.pdf  Currently the structural AI is addressing the primary
    contact only (the contact with the truck front).
    However, numerical studies and experiments [14]
    have shown the severity of the secondary impact
    makes it a highly relevant aspect for future
    consideration. Studies of the “nose cone” [6]
    indicated not only a reduced likelihood for run-over,
    but also a reduced severity of the secondary impact
    (prevent forward-projection of pedestrian).
    Existing test methods for passenger cars are
    continually under development, such as the research
    into rotational acceleration as an assessment method
    The concept was developed in the innovation and design centre of the vehicle manufacturer Hymer. The improved aerodynamics lead to a reduction in fuel consumption of up to 3 l/100 km. An improvement of safety is realised by an extremely stiff safety cage [LAS03, HYM02]                                                                                                              The DAF Xtreme Future Concept (XFC), which can be seen in Fig. 3-15, was presented at the IAA Commercial Vehicles in 2002. The improved aerodynamic concept reduces fuel consumption and the danger of overrunning other road users by a deflecting frontend. The cabin is designed to be based on an aluminium space frame [EAA02].                                                                                                                                                    The Scania Concept illustrated in Fig. 3-16, was also presented on the IAA Commercial
    Vehicles in 2002 as a bonnet truck concept for the future. The targets are to identify the market interest for this concept and to optimise aerodynamics. In 2003 an additional concept was presented with the Scania Crash Zone Concept. It has an added structure of 600 mm at the front that absorbs more energy than that of a conventional truck. Therefore the survivable collision speed rises from 56 to 90 km/h. It has potential to reduce the number of fatalities in car to truck collisions. The extra weight for nose concept amounts to 250 kg [SCA02, HAH03].                                                                                         In 2008 MAN presented the Bionic Truck with the body form of a dolphin shown in Fig. 3-19. The design of the truck leads to a reduction of fuel consumption up to 25 % according to the manufacturer’s declaration. Therefore the cabin needs to be lengthened by 70 cm and the trailer by about 50 cm. So over all, the truck is 1.2 m longer than a conventional truck.
    Furthermore comprehensive design changes are carried out at the tractor and at the trailer. The trailer has a much rounder front shape. The trailer has a tear drop shape with a tapered rear part and its wheels are covered. For these reasons the truck has a cD value of 0.29 [SCH08].

  7.  Investigating the extent to which UNECE Regulation 93 constrains the ability of Europe to permit longer trucks to improve environmental and safety benefits By Iain Knight
  8. Piercing the Passenger Compartment — Voluntary Efforts to Stop the Horrors of Underride Truck Crashes by Andy Young

Other posts on Front Underride Protection:

How Far Have We Come In The 50 Years Since Jayne Mansfield’s Death By Truck Underride?

June 29 marked the 50th anniversary of Jayne Mansfield’s death by underride. The world knew in 1967 — if it didn’t know it before — about the terrible geometric mismatch between a car and a truck which allowed a car to ride under a truck upon collision.

In those 50 years, how many technological problems have we solved? And yet why have we been unable to solve the problem of truck underride and stem the tide of preventable, horrific, and senseless underride tragedies?

Sure we have made some headway — six trailer manufacturers have upgraded their rear underride guards and there are promising side guard solutions with one of them recently tested by the IIHS. Some manufacturers even have retrofit kits available to replace weak rear guards on existing trailers.

Yet it is well known that more could be done, but hasn’t. And why is that? Why have we been so slow to solve this problem? There are many reasons which could be cited. But the facts are the facts. People are still dying (or suffering catastrophic injuries) at an alarming rate from underride and we are seemingly content to let it continue or address it at a snail’s pace.

Not me. I am not content to take it slow and easy — not when the result is that more people will die because we didn’t act sooner. When we could have.

Take front underride or override for example. Front underride protection is one of the components we are asking for in the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act of 2017 (RAMCUP). People are dying due to lack of adequate front underride protection — just like they are on the sides and rear of trucks.

In Europe, they have requirements to protect against this. Not in the U.S. So what are we waiting for? Well, that’s a good question.

Do we wait until we can reinvent the wheel here and figure it out for ourselves with years of research? Or do we speed up the process by learning from others and encouraging collaboration among relevant stakeholders?

Do we include it in the congressional mandate to the Department of Transportation and ask them to figure it out sooner rather than later? Or do we ask them to solve the side guard problem now and then later on, down the road at some unspecified time in the future, we’ll address the need for front protection?

Well, Lois Durso and I took the bull by the horn and said: We’re sick & tired of waiting. People are dying from underride no matter what part of the truck they are unfortunate enough to collide with. We need to solve every kind of underride problem and we are going to include it all in one big comprehensive piece of legislation. Because it is needed. Because it is long-overdue.

Previous posts on Front Underride Protection:

Don’t re-invent the wheel; establish a formal Committee On Underride Protection (COUP) to oversee the development of recommendations for NHTSA underride regulations.

See the history of underride rulemaking as compiled by IIHS:

From the RAMCUP bill: 

Include front override protection in conformance with the following
(1) An EU requirement was introduced in 2000 based on ECE Regulation
93 requiring mandatory rigid front underrun protection defining a rigid
front underrun protection system for trucks with a gross weight over 3.5
tonnes Directive 2000/40/EEC. Studies performed by EEVC WG 14 have
shown that passenger cars can ‘survive’ a frontal truck collision with a
relative speed of 75 km/h if the truck is equipped with an energy absorbing               underrun protection system. Furthermore, these systems could reduce
about 1,176 deaths and 23,660 seriously injured car occupants in Europe
per year. Research shows that the benefits of a mandatory specification for
energy absorbing front underrun protection would exceed the costs, even if
the safety effect of these measures was as low as 5%. European
Commission; Front Underrun Protection Systems [Note: 75 kmh = 46.6028
(2) Front guards must have 3 levels of resistance; soft front for pedestrians
and cyclists, middle area must be softer than the partner vehicle in crashes
and able to absorb energy such as through crush, and rear area must be
strong and stiff enough to resist underride and rotate high-speed vehicles
away from the truck. Extend the front guard from the truck 600 mm (2 feet) to
give room for a 500 mm (1.6 feet) radius curve to deflect crash partners
including VRU and cars. The extra 600 mm should give 102 km/h or (63 mph)
of protection which would exceed a general goal of 60 mph (100 km/h) — an
average speed for highway crashes in the real world.
(3) NHTSA shall immediately issue an RFP to identify the appropriate
requirements for a front underrun protection standard.


Design and Optimization of Front Underrun Protection Device


Don’t you think that enough is enough?! Let’s make it a priority to tackle the whole underride problem post haste! If we don’t (knowing what we now know), then who should we hold responsible for the thousands of people who will most surely die from preventable underride?

No compromise. Too many have already paid the price for 50 years of compromise.

US/Canada Cross-Border Petition Calls for an End To Truck Underride Deaths–Front, Back & Sideguards

Speak up for victims like Jessica, Mary, and AnnaLeah. Let our government regulators and trucking industry leaders know that we want them to act now to save lives.

Sign & share our new cross-border petition: End Truck Underride Deaths–Sideguards, Front & Back; US/Canadian Cross-Border Effort To Save Lives

U.S. and Canadian safety advocates are calling for an end to preventable truck underride tragedies. Hundreds of people die every year when pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, and passenger vehicles go underneath trucks.

It can happen to anyone — even if their car has a 5-Star Crash Rating. It can happen anywhere and at any time. It happened to AnnaLeah (17) & Mary Karth (13) when their car went under the rear of a semi-trailer on May 4, 2013, in Georgia. And it happened to Jessica Holman-Price (21) when she went under the side of a truck as a pedestrian on December 19, 2005, in Canada.

We don’t want it to happen to you or to someone you love. That is why we are calling for government regulators to act now to make trucks safer. We know that the technology is available to make this happen.

On September 23, we submitted a Comprehensive Underride Consensus Petition to the U.S. Department of Transportation (Clarification Document). It was signed by engineers and safety advocates who know that the problem can be solved. Similar efforts are being launched in Canada as well.

Since underride fatalities are a universal problem, cross-border regulatory cooperation between the U.S. and Canada is essential. Duplication of efforts is not efficient, whereas cooperative efforts will move North America more quickly toward zero preventable truck underride deaths.

So far, the work on improving truck underride protection has taken place in silos. It is past time to break the walls of silos and the silence which ensues, to stop working behind closed doors, and to bring the discussion to the light so that we are all working together with open and transparent communication.

Therefore, in light of the tragic and unnecessary countless loss of lives which delays in underride prevention have already cost, as well as the continued tragic and preventable loss of life sure to occur if decisive action is not taken now, we are hereby petitioning the governments of the U.S. and Canada to immediately take the following step in order to bring about comprehensive underride protection:

Issue a memorandum to establish a Joint/International Underride Task Force to actively address this global public health problem.

Speak up for victims like Jessica, Mary, and AnnaLeah. Let our government regulators and trucking industry leaders know that we want them to act now to save lives.

Sign & share our new cross-border petition: End Truck Underride Deaths–Sideguards, Front & Back; US/Canadian Cross-Border Effort To Save Lives


“In February 2011, President Obama & Prime Minister Harper launched the Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC). . . to facilitate closer cooperation between our two countries. . . to protect the safety & welfare of our citizens.” UNITED STATES – CANADA REGULATORY COOPERATION COUNCIL Joint Forward Plan, August 2014

For more information on the Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC):

FRONT Underrun Protection Systems (FUPS) Research; So why does Europe require this & US does not?

I have been trying to collect as much information as possible on the deadly dilemma of the truck override which occurs when a truck and car have a head-on collision.

  1. Truck tractor cabs may be equipped with a Front Underrun Protection System (FUPS)
  2. IIHS 2009 TestimonyResearch in Europe has investigated front underride guards, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Regulation 93 requires such guards.  NHTSA also should require adequate front, side, and rear underride guards on new tractors and trailers. Statement before the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection Emerging vehicle safety issues, May 18, 2009, Stephen Oesch, also contains an Attachment: Federal rulemaking on truck underride guards 
  6. Front Underrun or Underride Guards, Underride Network
  7. Volvo Trucks India: Protecting Other Road-Users :The different heights of trucks and cars have always constituted a safety problem in traffic, not least if a head-on collision should occur.Now, we are proud to offer a solution in the shape of Volvo’s Front Underrun Protection System (FUPS), which is fitted as standard on Volvo FH and Volvo FM models.The FUPS prevents passenger cars from becoming wedged under the truck’s front in a frontal collision, and thereby reduces the risk of serious injuries and increases the survival rate for the car’s occupants. 

    The underrun protection beam serves as a 200 mm deep crumple zone, considerably reducing penetration into the car’s passenger compartment. With the truck bumper situated on the same level as that of a typical car bumper, the deformation zone of the car can be utilised in the best possible way.

    The FUPS comes fully integrated into the cab’s structure in the FH and FM series, but does not add any extra weight.

  8. Robustness and Reliability of Front Underrun Protection Systems, Master’s Thesis in Solid and Fluid Mechanics JOHANNES FRAMBY & DAVID LANTZ
  9. Front underrun protective systems and devices are used on heavy vehicles. Their problem of compatibility with other road users is a serious issue. Trucks are stiff, heavy and high and pose a serious threat to occupants of other vehicles in the event of an impact. Frontal car-to-truck collisions are the most common impact type in crashes where trucks are involved. . .  In EU it is mandatory for vehicles over 3.5 tonnes to have a rigid front underrun protection system. Studies have also shown that passenger cars can ‘survive’ a frontal truck collision with a speed of 75 km/h if the truck is equipped with an energy absorbing underrun protective system. In order for a Front Underrun Protective System to be approved laboratory testing has to be carried out in accordance with the procedures described in UN ECE Regulation No. 93. Tests also have to be carried out in by a test facility approved by the road agency (transport department). TEST TO FRONT UNDERRUN PROTECTIVE SYSTEMS
  10. FUPS BullbarsFront Underrun Protection Systems (FUPS) are barriers integrated into the front of trucks OR built as specially designed bullbars and bumpers.The benefits of FUPS are significant:Injuries are minimised by preventing smaller vehicles from going underneath the front of trucks in the event of an accident.
    • FUPS ensure that the crash forces are evenly distributed across the front of the truck.
    • FUPS ensure that the safety features of passenger vehicles (such as air bags and crumple zones) are activated during a collision.
    • FUPS can prevent the car damaging the trucks steering – allowing the truck to be bought to a controlled stop.

    Australian FUPS are made to UNECE Regulation No 93 Standards. The regulation requires that the Front Underrun Protection Device must withstand certain forces, have a smooth front with a face of 100mm to distribute the crash forces, and have a maximum ground clearance of 400mm.

    The fitment of a FUPS is one of the requirements to operate a 26 metre B-Double within Australia. Provided the truck has the cab strength required this may also enable you to have an extra 500kg on the front axle.

  11. Front underrun protection systems for trucks. Considerations about the bullet and target vehicles for a test procedure
  12. Front underrun protection European Commission, Transport, Road SafetyDue to the size and mass of heavy vehicles, the problem of compatibility with other road users is a serious issue. Trucks are stiff, heavy and high and pose a serious threat to occupants of other vehicles in the event of an impact. Frontal car-to-truck collisions are the most common impact type in crashes where trucks are involved.It has been estimated that energy-absorbing front, rear and side under-run protection could reduce deaths in car to lorry impacts by about 12% [100]. An EU requirement was introduced in 2000 based on ECE Regulation 93 requiring mandatory rigid front underrun protection defining a rigid front underrun protection system for trucks with a gross weight over 3.5 tonnes Directive 2000/40/EEC. Studies performed by EEVC WG 14 have shown that passenger cars can ‘survive’ a frontal truck collision with a relative speed of 75 km/h if the truck is equipped with an energy absorbing underrun protection system. Furthermore, these systems could reduce about 1,176 deaths and 23,660 seriously injured car occupants in Europe per year. Research shows that the benefits of a mandatory specification for energy absorbing front underrun protection would exceed the costs, even if the safety effect of these measures was as low as 5% [37]. Energy absorbing systems are available from all truck manufacturers as an optional device but almost none are sold. A test procedure for legislative action is under development VC Compat.
  13. Front underrun protection The front underrun protection prevents smaller vehicles in frontal crashes from being dragged under the body of a large truck. In its function as a high-strength steel abutment, it activates the energy-absorbing areas of the body of the advancing vehicle (crumple zones) so that the energy of the collision can be dissipated.
  14. In head-on collisions of bonnet-type cars (sedans, wagons, hatchbacks, etc., hereafter referred to simply as cars) and heavy trucks, the car often under runs the front of the truck, and the car crew received the serious or fatal injuries. The crash safety performance of the car depends on the way its structural parts interact with the structural parts of the truck. Front Underrun Protection Device equipment that prevents the car from under running the truck is obligatory in India. The Required strength and ground clearance of FUPDs are specified in the relevant regulations used in India. Accidents between cars and trucks are among the most fatal accidents because of the car under running. This phenomenon leads to serious and fatal injuries for car occupants because of intrusion of the car structure into the passenger compartment. This has led to the development of test procedure for energy-absorbing front under run protection systems for trucks. There is a summary of accident analysis of several European countries, where we can read that of the 48000 fatally injured people in road traffic accidents in 1992, 13000 people were killed in accident with trucks involved, about 7000 were car occupants and 4200 of them were killed in car-to-truck frontal collisions.In the same time, in 1994, a collaboration in France between Renault VI (truck manufacturer) and INRETS has begun. The research program set up is based on a experimental design to determine the effect of the vehicle masses, the overlap and the closing speed and the effect of the Front Under run Protection Device on mechanical and biomechanical characteristics. This experimental design is presented which is also analysed and made available to use as a valid Front Under run Protection Device for trucks. Design and Optimization of Front Underrun Protection Device      Dr. T. Ramamohan Rao1 , A. Rama Krishna, IOSR Journal of Mechanical and Civil Engineering (IOSR-JMCE) e-ISSN: 2278-1684,p-ISSN: 2320-334X, Volume 8, Issue 2 (Jul. – Aug. 2013), PP 19-25 www.iosrjournals.org                                                                                                                                         Conclusions:  Head on collision contribute significant amount of serious accidents which causes driver fatalities. The car safety performances can work effectively by providing FUPD to the heavy trucks. The trucks with UPD can reduce the car driver fatalities by 40 % In India, for Front Under-run Protection Device, IS 14812:2005 regulation is required in for the trucks to meet the safety requirement to protect under running of the passenger car. In above said design, the maximum displacement of FUPD bar is limited to 179mm hence it meet the requirements as per IS 14812:2005. But this needs to be confirmed with physical testing in future. The virtual simulation is tool which can be used to avoid or reduce the physical testing of mechanical systems and components. Overall effect of this is cost saving and same is done with FUPD analysis. As per above results optimized model is safe, more strength and low weight mode suits the best suggested design. Weight reduction achieved by optimization result is 6%, compared to base third Model and displacement is about 5% and Stress is 6%.Finally we conclude that the optimized model results are less than the third design model. By this we can say that optimized front under run protection device is selected. Front under run protection is achieved less weight, less displacement and less stress so that for the passenger who is sitting in the car having high safety by placing this optimized model. We can suggest to automobile industries to keep this type of Front Underrun Protection Device to truck, busses etc which saves the life of passenger with less injury.
  15. Investigating the (length) constraints imposed by the Front Underrun Protection Regulation CONCLUSIONS: Crashes involving an underrun are likely to be severe because a car’s structural strength and passive safety systems – such as crumple zones – are unlikely to confer their full safety benefit. Many trucks/trailers are fitted with some form of underrun protection, however few trucks are equipped to fully minimise the possibility of an underrun. As a passive safety device, underrun protection will not reduce the number of crashes involving trucks and lighter vehicles. However, they can ensure that crashes that do occur are less severe than they might otherwise have been. The economic benefit of this reduction in crash severity substantially exceeds the cost of fitting them to trucks, up to a cost of $1,000 for a package of underrun protection for the front, sides and rear of all trucks (the benefit also exceeds the costs for individual underrun devices). This benefit is accrued over a device lifetime of at least 15 years, and is higher for articulated trucks than for rigid trucks. Further work is needed to develop a minimum standard for underrun protection devices for each side of a truck/trailer combination. 

So. . . tell me again why it is that we do not have Front Underrun Protection on every truck in the United States!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Other posts on front override:

Front Override 008

Best Protection

Front Override Truck/Car Crash Fatalities Need Attention, Too

After hearing about a recent underride crash fatality which appears to be a front override crash, I looked into this underride issue which we still need to address.

Here is the recent crash: Austin Police ID Woman Killed In Wrong-Way Crash

Briefly, here are some things about front override crashes, which is what happens when the front of a truck rides over a car.

Front Override 008

Clearly, front override is another deadly problem which has solutions. What are we waiting for?

Negotiated RulemakingFront underride 002