People may be surprised to learn that many other country safety standards exceed U.S. standards regarding truck-trailers. One example is the area of side “underride” protection. Because a trailer lies much higher than a standard passenger vehicle, when an automobile runs into the rear of a trailer, the results were normally devestating and severe injuries or death would often occur when the car went under the trailer. Then, new industry standards were introduced that required the use of “guards” on the rear of trailers. These guards kept automobile passengers from passing under the rear of the trailer and would often save lives.
However, in the United States, the same standard was not required on the side of truck-trailers. When a truck pulls out in front of an oncoming car, the car will usually go under the higher trailer, causing greater damage than if the side had been guarded.
Many other countries have implemented mandatory safety guards on the sides of trailers. One example is shown below:
(Note that both the rear and sides are guarded by a protective railing not found on the sides of U.S. tractor-trailers)