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CALL 6: Tests show side guards on trucks could save lives

Law doesn't require side guards, only rear guards
Posted: 4:11 PM, May 11, 2017
Updated: 2017-05-11 20:11:47Z
Tests show truck side guards could save lives
Tests show truck side guards could save lives

INDIANAPOLIS -- A new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows side underride guards for semi-trailers could save lives. 

The side underride guards are not currently required by law, but rear guards are. 

New IIHS tests show side guards can prevent cars from sliding underneath big trucks during crashes, which could prevent serious injury or death. 

The institute conducted the tests this spring. It was the first time the agency has evaluated side underride guards.

Call 6 Investigates previously reported on how trucks are required to have rear underride guards, however, many are not strong enough to keep motorists safe.

RELATED | Mother loses daughters, raises truck underride concerns

Central Indiana police and experts have conducted side underride tests  that proved side guards could save many Hoosier lives.

In those tests, a car hit the center of a 53-foot-long dry van trailer.

When the trailer had an underride guard, the guard bent but did not allow the car to go underneath the trailer.

In the test with no underride guard, the impact sheared off part of the roof, which would have likely killed the people inside the car.

IIHS estimates about half of deadly crashes involving large trucks and cars involve underride, or the car sliding underneath.

At least three U.S. cities — Boston, New York and Seattle — mandate side guards on city-owned and contracted trucks to eliminate crash deaths and injuries, particularly among pedestrians and bicyclists.

CALL 6 |  Experts, police perform underride crash tests

"Our tests and research show that side underride guards have the potential to save lives," says David Zuby, the Institute's executive vice president and chief research officer. "We think a mandate for side underride guards on large trucks has merit, especially as crash deaths continue to rise on our roads."

Passenger vehicle occupant deaths in 2-vehicle crashes with tractor-trailers:

Year

Passenger vehicle strikes side of tractor-trailer

Passenger vehicle strikes rear of tractor-trailer

All crashes with tractor-trailers

2005

441

258

1,932

2006

394

260

1,853

2007

417

218

1,771

2008

290

180

1,526

2009

269

174

1,237

2010

319

181

1,417

2011

246

189

1,362

2012

306

216

1,376

2013

274

213

1,377

2014

308

220

1,409

2015

301

292

1,542

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