FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 27, 2018
Contact: Eric Naing 202-408-1711, cell: 217-493-8294, firstname.lastname@example.org
Statement of Cathy Chase,
President of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety,
On IIHS Underride Guard Test Results
New Crash Test Results Show Lifesaving Capabilities of
Rear Truck Underride Guards.
Congress Should Advance the Stop Underrides Act to Ensure Protection for All Motorists from the Death and Destruction of Underride Crashes.
Advocates for Highways and Auto Safety (Advocates) commends the eight largest North American manufacturers of semitrailer truck underride guards for earning the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) TOUGHGUARD award. Strong underride guards are a proven solution to the horrific problem of underride crashes. This critical safety feature helps to mitigate violent crashes in which a passenger vehicle collides with a truck or trailer, potentially shearing off the compartment of the car resulting in death and debilitating injuries of the occupants. The performance improvements of the rear underride guards shown by these latest IIHS test results will save lives.
While IIHS has conducted important crash testing demonstrating the lifesaving benefits of robust rear and side underride guards, the current federal standard for rear guards is shockingly weak and hasn’t been updated in two decades, and there is no standard for side guards. While these eight companies represent approximately 80 percent of trailers on the road in the U.S., there are 20 percent of trailers that may not achieve this level of safety for rear guards. It is therefore urgent that Congress take immediate action to advance the Stop Underrides Act (S. 2219/H.R. 4622). This bipartisan bill requires the U.S. Department of Transportation to undertake rulemakings to mandate comprehensive underride guards to ensure this available technology is put on all trucks to stop these preventable tragedies. We are thankful for the leadership of the Congressional co-sponsors of the bill: Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Reps. Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA).
Annual truck crash deaths amount to a major airplane crash every other week of the year. It’s unacceptable that available countermeasures are languishing while this carnage continues unabated.