IIHS Announces Award for Not Decapitating Drivers With a Tractor Trailer

The next time you’re driving behind a semitrailer take notice of that metal bumper hanging off the back. That’s the underride guard, and its job it to prevent your minuscule hatchback from hurdling beneath its hulking mass on the off chance that you have a collision.

Sadly, not all guards are created equal and some buckle during an accident — allowing the car’s passenger compartment to impact the rear of the trailer, frequently shearing off the part of the vehicle that your head occupies.

To further scare you out of tailgating trucks, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released a 2011 report stating that the majority of those guards would fail and that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s minimum structural guidelines for underride bars was inadequate. While some manufacturers had begun installing stronger and safer guards, mainly to satisfy higher Canadian standards, the initial round of IIHS’ testing resulted in most underride guards failing in a 30-percent overlap test.

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Vellum Venom Vignette: A Primer on Black Plastic?

Joe writes:

Can you explain black plastic on cars? I saw an Audi Q7 with black plastic all over the bottom, but then a Q5 doesn’t have it. Sometimes the plastic isn’t black but color coded like an Eddie Bauer Ford or something else.

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  • Zang I’m sorry but does anyone desire GMC products? Looks are subjective but across the board GMC kinda makes a case for taking home the ugly trophy. Their full size trucks look like a parody of full size trucks- like they couldn’t figure out anything original so they came up with… that. I get they’re playing for an upscale image but cmon son, with the Terrain and Acadia on the lot we all know you ended up here after the Lincoln/Cadillac/Toyota dealer encouraged you head to their pre-owned section. Combined with the zero credibility they have with the off road / overlanding crowd (you dont take the current Canyon off road unless you want a quick way to empty your engine of oil), GM’s reputation for building crappy vehicles, and the fact even their white trash customer base prefers RAM … who is this for?
  • FreedMike This car looks terrific from the front. Then we have the back end...I don't think the "very expensive halo car" approach is a bad one at all (though I'd price this a LOT lower than $300,000), but the "ugly $300,000 halo car" approach is going to fail. And I think the Lyriq - which has the same horrid rear-end treatment - is going to fail too. Is it too late to restyle this car? God, I hope not.
  • Corey Lewis This is a great idea, and I like it on the regular Bronco.Don't care about it on the Bronco Sp, where it's very fake.
  • FreedMike By the time you add in the inevitable dealer markup, you might as well find a nice old-school Bronco, like this one. https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1969-ford-bronco-114/
  • EBFlex Did they let 2nd graders pick the colors? There is no other word for this other than horrendous. Thank god Ford refuses to build vehicles and we won’t have to be subjected to these disgusting paint schemes.