Grimes & Fertitta, P.C.

Underride guards may need to change

With a great number of semi-trucks travelling through our region, the potential for catastrophic accidents is always present. While crashes where a truck broadsides or rear-ends a car are common, an equally dangerous issue has not been addressed on a national level.

Trailer underride guards have been a topic of discussion amongst safety groups for quite some time. Essentially, researchers have found that many commercial trucks are not equipped with guards that protect car passengers from the potential of severe head trauma.

Since many trailers have bodies that extend over their rear axles, the guard acts like a wall that prevents cars from sliding under the trailer. As such, motorists ostensibly will not be decapitated if they rear-end a semi-truck. Instead, the car's front end will absorb the impact, keeping passengers safe in the vehicle.

In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety (IIHS), a number of underride guards failed to protect car passengers, even though the guards met U.S. safety requirements. While the guards were properly installed and raised to the proper height above the road, they did not absorb the impact as expected. Instead, they crumpled under the trailer and allowed the test vehicle to continue.

However, similar guards that were made for Canadian specifications performed better. The stronger guards were able to absorb the impact, and some were lower to the ground, so as to compensate for smaller vehicles.

The IIHS made several recommendations that specifications for underride guards be updated to prevent future catastrophic accidents, but it remains to be seen whether they will be implemented.

Source:, IIHS petitions for change to truck rear underride guards

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Contact Us Today

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

G | Grimes & Fertitta | F

Houston Office
1885 Saint James Place Suite 1330
Houston, Texas 77056

Phone: 281-407-8256
Fax: 713-224-0733
Houston Law Office Map

The Woodlands Office
2203 Timberloch Place
Suite 231
The Woodlands, Texas 77380

Phone: 281-407-8256
Fax: 713-224-0733
Map & Directions

  • Toll Free: 800-584-3973
  • Phone: 281-407-8256
  • Fax: 713-224-0733