EVU XXIII 2014-03 Development of an underride prevention system for articulated lorry trailers compatible with both trailer and lorry

Peter Schimmelpfennig, M.Sc. (Engineering)


Traffic accidents between articulated lorry trailers and cars usually result in severe injury of the car occupants. This is particularly the case if the car underrides the trailer as the two are simply not compatible. On the one hand the underride prevention of the trailer is above the car’s side members and on the other the trailer underride prevention cannot resist the force exerted by a car with a relative speed exceeding 30 kph if the trailer covers the car to 75% or more for technical reasons. The car underrides the trailer and its passenger compartment is deformed to such an extent that the occupants cannot survive the accident.

Underride prevention has now been developed that solves the problem of incompatibility of height and force to an extent exceeding legal requirements. In detail this means that the underride prevention must resist the force exerted by a car at 50 kph even if the trailer covers the car by 40%. The clearance angle of 8 degrees needed to board a ferry must also be ensured and the free space behind the underride prevention system preserved. The underride prevention system must not add weight to the trailer.

The underride prevention system developed combines the requirements made and appeals by incorporating other improvements such as e.g. integrated lateral underride prevention. The functionality of the underride prevention system has been demonstrated by prototype development and subsequent testing under realistic conditions.

AutorePeter Schimmelpfennig, M.Sc. (Engineering)
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