While it’s no secret that new cars are safer than ever, drivers can have a bit of extra peace of mind that other potential hazards on the road are getting safer as well, including semi trailers. The IIHS announced Thursday that all eight major manufacturers of large truck trailers achieved its “Toughguard” award for passenger car crash safety, representing nearly 80 percent of new trailers on the road in the U.S.
“We’re pleased that all the major manufacturers responded positively to our underride tests,” said David Zuby, chief research officer at IIHS. “By improving their guards, these companies have demonstrated a commitment to the safety of passenger vehicle occupants who share the road with their trailers.”
Underride, as it’s known, occurs when a passenger vehicle slides under a larger vehicle like a truck trailer in the event of a crash, and has historically been one of the deadliest forms of highway collisions, accounting for over 20 percent of deaths in large truck-related crashes.
The trailers that qualified for the Toughguard award this year have rear guards that prevent underride from midsize cars in three separate tests at 35 miles per hour. Last year, only five of the eight trailer manufacturers qualified for the award.
Though rear guards are effective at reducing the risks of underride collisions, there’s currently no law in the U.S. that requires side guards for trailers, though aftermarket guards like the AngelWing have been found to successfully prevent underride of midsize sedans.