Kentucky Trailer earns IIHS award for good underride guards

March 19, 2020

Kentucky Trailer, a specialty trailer manufacturer, is the latest company to earn the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s TOUGHGUARD award for effective rear underride prevention.

Underride occurs when a passenger vehicle slides under a larger vehicle during a crash. This typically causes severe intrusion into the passenger vehicle’s occupant space and is often deadly. Rear underride guards are metal bumpers that hang from the backs of semitrailers to prevent underride in a rear impact.

IIHS introduced the TOUGHGUARD award in 2017 for trailers with guards that prevent underride in all three of the Institute’s rear underride tests.

IIHS initially tested trailers from the eight largest manufacturers in North America. Most didn’t pass immediately, but now, following modifications, all eight companies earn the award.

Kentucky Trailer is the first company after the initial eight to seek a TOUGHGUARD award. The company conducted its own testing and supplied IIHS with video footage and data. After evaluating that material, IIHS determined that properly equipped Kentucky Trailer dry vans qualify for the award.

The TOUGHGUARD criteria consist of three tests — full-width, 50 percent overlap and 30 percent overlap. In each configuration, a typical midsize car travels at 35 mph toward the back of a parked semitrailer. In the full-width test, the car strikes the center of the guard head-on. In the 50 percent overlap, half of the car's front end strikes the guard. In the 30 percent overlap, the toughest evaluation, 30 percent of the car's front strikes the corner of the trailer.

The TOUGHGUARD designation applies to Kentucky Trailer dry van units built after February with the KT30-RIG option. The company’s snack food, package delivery and dry freight composite trailers can be equipped with this option.

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