Here is my latest post at Tree Hugger:
We have had underride guards that are effective in crashes above 50 mph for over 30 years. Guards must be energy absorbing for proper protection in high-speed crashes, period!
Increasing the length away from the truck or trailer of the underrun guard increases the critical impact speed
To 95 km/h (59 mph) with a 300 mm – length HC structure (+27%)
To 102 km/h (63 mph) with a 600 mm – length HC structure (+36%)
To 107 km/h (67 mph) with a 900 mm – length HC structure (+43%)
We have known for 50 years that extending guards vastly increases effective speed, one foot would give us 60 mph plus guards if applied now to best energy absorbing designs. NHTSA and insurance industry have perpetrated fraud on public with low-speed tests for 50 years. They have tested cars and trucks at 30 mph and 35 mph since 1970 giving us guards that at best perform at these speeds for 50 years. When you buy a car would you like to know what it does in highway speed crashes, does it disintegrate? FHWA (Federal Highway Administration) crash tests guards for highway repair crews called crash attenuators, they perform beyond 70 mph in crashes. FHWA tests at real world speeds which they deem a good high-speed crash average speed is 62 mph. They run crash tests at 62 mph and eventually companies design guards to pass the tests. If you crash test at low-speeds you get minimal and cheap improvement, disintegrate a companies car and I guarentee good effort! If these crash tests were performed at speeds that real fatal crashes occur at for 50 years I guarentee world-wide a million lives saved. What is that worth, what would we save on insurance and medical insurance to pass on miniscule costs to car companies, costs we pay now!
I would add to post:
Self-driving cars will save lives, radar targets under the side of trailers or car stopping side guards should be required. Future vehicles and roadways must be designed for these new technologies. Massive spending on infrastructure will be wasted if roadways exclude design features such as magnetic or metallic paint or buried guide cables etc. to assist self-driving vehicles. Intelligent features should be incorporated to communicate with vehicles for wrecks and slow-downs and traffic jams.