Side Impact Guards for Combination Truck-Trailers: Cost-Benefit Analysis

This analysis presents the benefits and costs of requiring trailers of combination trucks (CTs) or articulated trucks consisting of a tractor unit and one or more attached trailers to be equipped with side impact guards to mitigate injuries and fatalities resulting from side-underride crashes involving CTs and light passenger vehicles (LPVs). LPVs include passenger cars, light trucks, and vans with gross vehicle weight ratings of 10,000 pounds or less. Estimated safety impacts were converted into monetary equivalents using estimated comprehensive economic costs of crashes, and compared with estimated hardware, installation, and incremental fuel costs to identify estimates of net benefits, benefit-cost ratios, and cost-effectiveness. A sensitivity analysis considered a range of input assumptions to account for uncertainty in the target population of side underride fatalities, side guard effectiveness, hardware costs, and fuel consumption impacts. The cost-benefit analysis presented here indicates that equipping CT trailers with side underride guards would mitigate fatalities and would likely also mitigate serious injuries for LPV occupants associated with side underrides, but that the costs of doing so exceed the benefits across the range of assumptions considered in the analysis. The predominant driver of high-cost impacts relative to safety benefits is hardware costs across the scenarios evaluated, but the effect of side guard weight on CT fuel costs is also a critical factor. Based on this finding, we conclude that alternative approaches to mitigating LPV-CT trailer crashes warrant further attention. As a focal example, ADAS represents a countermeasure that could reduce the frequency of LPV-CT trailer crashes.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 108p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01883081
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DOT HS 813 404
  • Created Date: May 23 2023 10:10AM