NHTSA crash tests new cars to rate their safety in crashes and publishes performance based on a star system thru their NCAP rating for new cars. You might buy a car that is 5 star crash rated that passed with flying colors the 35 mph offset crash test. Why are trucks exempted? Undo influence from lobbyists?
When we crash test guards at 30 to 35 mph we get guards for 50 years that perform at 30 to 35 mph. When you try something over and over and over again and get a negative result, why would you continue this activity. If we crash test guards at high speeds perhaps we will see guards that perform at high speeds. The FHWA tests crash attenuators in 62.2 mph crash tests (Real World Crash Speeds) and attenuators protect cars and trucks in crashes at 62.2 mph and more!
The FHWA Office of Safety considers that a 100 km/h (62.2 mph) crash test is representative of worst case run-off-road crashes. We agree, real world fatal crashes happen on 50 mph roadways and between 50 and 60 mph. If we test at real world crash speeds we will get underride protection that performs at these speeds. When guards fail tests at real world speeds manufacturers will finally feel public and political pressure to increase crash effectiveness. We must see real world tests of guards at 50 and 62.2 mph such as tests at FHWA for crash attenuators. We must use more extensive crash test criteria such as those used in the AASHTO Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH). MASH tests cars to 100 km/h or 62.2 mph and big trucks at 80 km/h or 50 mph. MASH tests crash attenuators at various speeds and we should do the same for underride guards to give the public a real world picture of their safety.
The Underride Network supports a similar criteria for underride guard crash tests as those submitted by Prof. Raphael Grzebieta and (Adj) Associate Professor George Rechnitzer and Transport and Road Safety (TARS) Research Centre in Australia based on the criteria used for MASH crash tests in the AASHTO Manual. We would submit requiring multiple speed tests to include real world crash speeds and would not limit extension of guards to increase crush or stroke distance to increase guards effective speed while diminishing deceleration forces. Tests might be performed at 44 mph and 50 mph and 62.2 mph to test minimally compliant guards in low-speed test and using higher speed tests to monitor performance at real world crash speeds. We support testing for Practical Worst Case (PWC) scenario crashes that happen in the real world just as MASH includes PWC in it’s crash test series. We must include tests of offset controlled after crash direction of vehicle spin or VRU (Vulnerable Road User or bikes and pedestrians) after crash spin to assess high-speed crash avoidance for cars and prevention of running over VRU users in frontal crashes. John E. Tomassoni “It is expected that certain offset conditions could result in car rotation such that the passenger compartment may beneficially avoid intrusion entirely”. WE would encourage annual NCAP type testing of truck and trailer underride guards to encourage industry improvement of guards on an annual basis such as crash performance of cars improves on an annual basis using publication of the results of NCAP tests for cars to increase sales of better performing products.
Increasing the length of the HC (HoneyComb shaped front nose 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%)