NTSB issues recommendations Collisions with the sides of tractor-trailers resulted in about 500 deaths each year and that many of these deaths involved side underride. Researchers also found that current trailer rear underride guard standards are outdated. The recommendations call on NHTSA to require that both newly manufactured truck-tractors and trailers be equipped with side underride protection systems, and that revisions be made to improve trailer rear underride guard standards to better protect passenger vehicle occupants from fatalities and serious injuries.
NTSB – 29% of pedestrian fatalities to the side of the truck.
NTSB – 55% of cyclist fatalities to the side of the truck.
“In Canadian urban collisions involving heavy vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians, the front of the heavy vehicle (front, right front and left front) was the initial point of impact in 42.9% of the cases for bicyclist fatalities and 45.8% of the cases for pedestrian fatalities. The right side of the heavy vehicle (right middle, right rear and entire right side) was the initial point of impact in approximately 28.5% of cases for bicyclist fatalities and 6.3% of cases for pedestrian fatalities.”
“The front of the vehicle was the initial point of impact in 48.5% of the cases for bicyclist fatalities and 71.6% of the cases for pedestrian fatalities in the US heavy truck-VRU collisions. The right side of the vehicle was the initial point of impact in approximately 22.5% of cases for bicyclist fatalities and 7.9% of cases for pedestrian fatalities.”
“Based on data from the EU, the number of deaths and serious injuries for VRUs when involved in an incident with heavy vehicles has been reduced since the introduction of side guards. However, it is not clear if this reduction is entirely related to side guards or if side guards are but one of the contributing factors.”
NTSB recommendations for tractor trailers including improved mirrors and side and rear underride guards.
We have cities passing ordinances requiring side guards on their local single-unit truck fleets. Unfortunately, they have removed cars from protection of side guards claiming side guards are only to protect VRU vulnerable road users. We disagree! Side guards can be built cheaply and with low-weight to protect cars in low-speed crashes and in the common side swipe changing lane type crashes where the car swerves under the truck. Most children die as passengers in cars in side crashes with trucks, removing side protection for children is fatal. We feel these drastic cost/benefit schemes will also remove front protection of vulnerable road users and high-speed protection for cars in future rulemakings.
Side Guard protecting car in crash on Youtube
Video below contains crash pictures that may alarm some viewers.
Contains video provided by the Underride Network.
Side Guards Save Lives: A Success Story
January 26, 2015
In this video news story, Volpe engineer Alex Epstein discusses how the implementation of side guards is gaining momentum as a safety feature on large trucks.
www.safetrucks.ca – Sideguards and convex mirrors for bikes and pedestrians in Canada
Beyond our demand for sideguards, we will work to mandate convex mirroring for all heavy vehicles, and mandatory cyclist interaction road training for everyone who holds a trucking license. SEE resources for great side guard and bike research papers.