Tag Archives: side guard

If this had been a real-life crash, side underride would be avoided & people in the car would have survived!

Successful side guard crash test at 33-34 mph — one year after we helped Aaron Kiefer with his first one. No Passenger Compartment Intrusion (PCI). If this had been a real-life crash, the people in the car would not have experienced deadly, severe underride of the side of the truck.

Lengthier video shows the construction of the side guard, as well as the prep work and aftermath clean-up by Aaron’s volunteer crew:

Thank you, Aaron, for your confidence that this is a solvable problem — and your commitment to follow this project through to its life-saving goal.

Aaron Kiefer’s website: Collision Safety Consulting


Unexpected adventure: mom rustles up a truck part to repair a damaged underride guard!

When the used trailer got delivered to Aaron Kiefer for his crash test, he noticed that the rear underride guard was damaged. As soon as he told me that, and that after the test he might rent the trailer out to drivers, I said, “I don’t want that trailer out on the road unless the guard is repaired!” No way do I want to knowingly put someone at risk!

Of course, that meant that I was about to embark that morning on an unexpected adventure. . .

Never in a million years did I expect to be 61 years old and driving around Raleigh to a truck parts store where, for $125, I purchased a “bumper tube” — they didn’t know what I meant when I asked for a horizontal bar for a rear underride guard for a trailer. I guess, many in the industry (like the driving public) don’t realize that the “bumper” on the back of a semi-trailer isn’t just to protect the truck from bumping into loading docks.

No, that replacement tube/bar has a label which clearly says:

Failure to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Act Standards FMVSS 223/224 (US) or FMVSS 223 (Canada) could result in injury to occupants of another vehicle in the event of a rear end collision with the trailer which, if not avoided, could result in death or serious injury.



Yet, how many trailers are out on the road with rear underride guards in a state of disrepair — like this one was — and not adhering to the FMVSS requirement to keep the guard in a like-new condition so that it is not weakened and lead to an untimely death or life-altering injury?

Enforcement of Proper Maintenance of Truck Underride Guards.pdf

And, by the way, why on earth doesn’t the replacement bar come with the reflective tape on it which they are required by law to have on the guard (so that other vehicles have a better chance of noticing them)?

Here’s the damaged guard:

KIMG0012KIMG0010 KIMG0009 KIMG0008

Here it is after Aaron replaced the horizontal bar with the new bumper tube which I picked up in my Yukon and delivered to where the crash test trailer is awaiting the installation of a side guard for its January 20, 2017, crash test:

KIMG0016KIMG0017KIMG0022KIMG0023KIMG0025Repaired Rear Guard

As it is, the current federal rear underride guard federal standard only requires a weaker-than-technologically-possible protective device. Couldn’t the industry at least maintain the existing guards in the best possible condition?

And, if they would please — when they do repair their guards — take the time to add Aaron’s newly-developed rear attachment to the outer edges to make their existing guard as strong as possible, I would really appreciate it!


Partner With Us To Protect Vulnerable Victims of Underride Crashes Partner with us to bring about a crash test of Aaron Kiefer’s life-saving and innovative truck side/rear guard on January 20, 2017. We have thought of a way that you could participate in the production & testing of his latest professional-grade prototype.

Crash Test of Innovative Large Truck Side Guard Could Advance Side Underride Prevention

Crash reconstructionist/forensic engineer Aaron Kiefer continues to develop his ideas for an innovative side/rear underride guard to protect all vulnerable victims from deadly truck underride.

Aaron has identified new materials to make his design stronger, more effective at preventing underride, and user-friendly for the truck drivers. The only thing is that he is doing this work on his own time aside from his regular job of reconstructing crash scenes. He turned to us to ask if we could help him raise some money for his upcoming side guard crash test so that he can prove that his invention will save lives.

You can help Aaron purchase the necessary materials for his next crash test. Our current goal is to raise $3,000* by early next year.

Donate at the ALMFTS website here which our family set up for traffic safety research through our 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety.

We received our IRS letter of approval in 2015 and are listed as a non-profit with Guidestar: http://www.guidestar.org/profile/47-4379503


* Crash Test Materials Include the Following:

  • $500 would buy the necessary polyester webbing  (12,000 lb/in), which gives Aaron’s invention unusual strength.
  • $500 more would buy the car to crash —  a Malibu
  • $500 more would buy the rear reinforcement aluminum plate and water jet cutting
  • $500 more would allow Aaron to purchase the aluminum extrusion for reinforcement/rear guard connector
  • $500 additional would pay for the FRP panel (2 x 190 ft rolls). Just today, Aaron had a sample of this plastic panel successfully sewn together with the polyester webbing — a good sign that this design, with these materials, could provide a strong innovative option for side underride protection on large trucks for pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, and passenger vehicles.
  • $3,000 TOTAL would allow Aaron to purchase the entire CRASH TEST SET: Panel/webbing/aluminum/assembly/labor (industrial sewing)

Please share this post so others can join in this vital effort to make affordable and effective side guards available to the trucking industry. Thank you!

Why rely on driver reaction to avoid truck side underride when a side guard could prevent tragedy?

I just read a very detailed explanation for why a driver might not react in time to avoid riding under the side of a semi-trailer — one without a side guard I might add. Well, that is all very interesting and we might learn something useful from it.

But, why on earth would we rely on driver behavior (especially in such an unexpected scenario) when the installation of a side guard could so easily save the driver’s life?!

Save Lives

Of course, taking a comprehensive approach to safety makes the most sense –one which makes other factors important as well, including:

  • Visibility and conspicuity.
  • Adequate parking for trucks.
  • Making it illegal for trucks to make U-turns.

Either or

Tesla crash fatality could have been stopped by side guards. Tell NHTSA to require them on trucks.

The U.S. has been talking about the tragedies of side underride and the possibility of using side guards on trucks since 1969.

The recent Tesla S underride crash fatality could quite likely have been prevented if there had been a side guard on the tractor-trailer it collided with.

So why is NHTSA still not requiring side guards on trucks? Why is the trailer manufacturing industry still opposing them? Why have so many years gone by with needless, preventable deaths continuing to occur?

Let’s change that, people. Make use of the federal rulemaking process which provides a way for the public to make comments on issues of national importance. Right now, the federal government is working on a rule to upgrade the regulation of truck underride guards; it addresses the rear guards for tractor-trailers–but not side guards.

YOU CAN HELP GET THE RULES CHANGED: Go to the Federal Register and hit the Comment Now button to tell them that you want trucks to be required to have side guards to prevent people from dying. It will then ask you to choose a CATEGORY; choose PUBLIC COMMENT.

Note: It will say that the Public Comment Period is closed as of February 16, 2016. Don’t worry; they will continue to look at Public Comments submitted after that date because the Final Rule is not yet issued.

Stand up and be heard. Government of the People. By the People. For the People.

Side Guards Save LivesMandate Side Guards

Now tell other people that they can do it, too! Thank you.

Note: See a Youtube video from Aaron Kiefer, a North Carolina crash reconstructionist, who has recently designed an innovative side/rear underride guard: