Side Underride Guards Stop Low Cars From Being Crushed by Semi-Trucks

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In a low-riding Corvette, hitting the side of a semi-truck could be deadly.

When a passenger car gets involved with a semi-truck, it’s never a good thing. The sheer size and weight of an 18-wheeler is enough to crush small coupes and sedans. But adding to the danger for passenger car drivers is the ride height of commercial trucks. The lack of height in a Corvette makes it even more dangerous.

In a side-impact collision, passenger cars can easily end up beneath the container portion of a semi. This exposes passengers to head trauma, and risks further damage to the car and occupants from dragging. New side underride guards being installed on semi trucks are designed to prevent this type of accident.

You may think it’s unlikely you’d be driving alongside a semi, but the extreme length of these trucks makes them hard to avoid. Especially with the way semis can behave in a slide caused by weather or hard braking, which can easily cause heavy trailers to rotate.

CHECK OUT: What Forum Members Are Saying About Underride Guards 

You can see how deadly a side impact with a semi is for passenger car occupants in the video demonstration above. The car’s windshield collapses, the driver suffers a direct impact from the side railing of the semi, and the car ends up beneath the tractor-trailer.

To prevent this type of scenario, new technology is available on cars and semi-trucks. Side underride guards like the AngelWing system shown in the video move the point of impact down on the car. This takes better advantage of crumple zones.

Add new windshield technologies like Gorilla Glass, which manufacturers are already using in premium models, and the result is a much safer outcome for driver and passengers. The impact is absorbed by the front of the car, the car doesn’t go beneath the truck, and car occupants are not exposed to dangerous broken glass. That’s a much better outcome.

Scott Huntington is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and JK Forum, among other auto sites.

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