Terrifying IIHS Video Shows What Happens When a Sedan Crashes Into a Big Rig
When a 2010 Chevrolet Malibu crashes into the back of a big rig, we all know which vehicle will emerge with more damage. As part of a new report, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released a striking video that demonstrates what happens when a car traveling 35 mph makes contact with the back of a stationary semitrailer. The IIHS evaluated the latest underride guards, steel bars affixed to the back of a big rig to prevent cars from sliding underneath the truck during a crash.
The good news is that all eight tested guards prevented underride in a crash in which a 2010 Malibu struck the back of the parked big rig directly in front of the sedan. That includes one model from Hyundai Translead, which replaced a model that previously failed the full-width test. The results were again positive in a test where half the car’s width overlapped with the trailer: all but one guard (from Vanguard) prevented underride. The eight tested brands represent 80 percent of the heavy truck trailer market.
Things didn’t go so well in the most difficult test: a 30-percent overlap crash. The only guard to pass the test was made by the Canada-based Manac. The company’s pass in the 30-percent overlap test wasn’t a fluke: the guard has vertical supports that attach to the bottom of the semitrailer just 18 inches from the outside edges, and the guard is attached to a reinforced floor. Interestingly, the IIHS says the Manac trailer also had the lowest damage estimate after the test.
The IIHS is hoping large trucks such as dump trucks will one day be required to have an underride guard, as well. Check out the video below to see how a 2010 Chevrolet Malibu performed against various big rig underride guards. The 2008-2012 Chevrolet Malibu scored Good ratings in the roof strength, side impact, and moderate overlap IIHS tests.
To learn more about the IIHS’ new small front overlap test, read the exclusive Motor Trend story here.
By Zach Gale