Underride Guard Safety Leads to IIHS Awards for Five Manufacturers
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Underride Guard Safety Leads to IIHS Awards for Five Manufacturers

the five award winners are great dane, manac, stoughton, vangaurd national, and wabash national

March 8, 2017

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has issued awards recognizing quality rear underride guards to five North American semitrailer manufacturers.

The five manufacturers that received the group's new Toughguard award are Great Dane LLC, Manac Inc., Stoughton Trailers LLC, Vanguard National Trailer Corp., and Wabash National Corp.

An underride guard is the metal bumper that hangs from the back of a semitrailer. This piece of equipment can buckle or break during a crash, posing a serious danger to people in passenger vehicles in the event of a rear-impact crash. According to IIHS data, this type of accident resulted in 427 deaths in 2015.

The recognized companies have rear guards that successfully prevent underride of a midsize car in three test modes: full-width, 50 percent overlap and 30 percent overlap. In the full-width test, which is the easiest to pass, the car strikes the center of guard head on. In the 50 percent overlap, half of the car's front end strikes the guard. In the toughest test, 30 percent of the front of the car strikes the trailer at its outermost corner. Underride guards are weakest at the outer edges of a trailer.

"Our research told us that too many people die in crashes with large trucks because underride guards are too weak," said David Zuby, the Institute's executive vice president and chief research officer. "So we designed crash tests to replicate scenarios where guards have failed in real-world crashes. At first, only one of the semitrailers we evaluated passed all three tests — the Manac. Now five trailers do. Manufacturers really took our findings to heart and voluntarily improved their guard designs."

Semitrailers from Hyundai Translead, Strick Trailers LLC, and Utility Trailer Manufacturing Co. passed the full-width and 50 percent overlap tests, but not the 30 percent overlap evaluation.