Every year .
There are half a million semi truck accidents in the US alone .
That's why just like passenger cars , these massive vehicles need to be crash tested to ensure they're safe for public roads .
Besides the typical crash impact trials , every car undergoes .
There are a number of tests specifically made for semi trucks , although not required by international regulations .
Volvo trucks and Volkswagen Skane are famous for performing what's called the Swedish cab strength test designed to simulate the damage impacted by a rollover crash .
This test is meant to see if the cab will remain intact under high pressure .
First , the roof is evenly loaded with a 15 ton weight .
Next , a 1.4 ton pendulum barrel is swung full speed into the cab's front .
A pillar , the weakest part of the cab .
Finally , a second pendulum barrel is launched into the cab's rear wall in order to pass the test , the resulting damage must not breach the driver's survival space .
The cab has to retain its original structure without any big holes or protruding sharp edges .
The test is frequently described as the industry's most difficult but as much as companies like Vogel and scan bra passing it .
Their engineers don't stop there and their cabs are still subjected to plenty of actual high speed rollover tests .
But trucks need more than their cabs tested the tractor trailers they carry are equally important , but it's not about protecting the trailers .
These tests are for protecting passenger vehicles .
In 2019 , over 850 us drivers died in crashes with the rear or side of a semi truck .
80% of them involve some kind of under ride where a car ends up under the semi or its trailer stats like these are why the Insurance Institute for highway safety tests , the use of under ride guards .
These are metal bumpers that hang down off the back and size of the trailer tests involve sending mid size cars at 35 MPH into these guards to test their durability and the damage they prevent to passenger dummies .
Unfortunately , these tests aren't required for trailers to pass safety standards and while side underwrite guards on trucks have been required by the European Union since 2003 .
They aren't mandatory on us .
Roads still the most extensive crash testing remains impact trials .
Familiar to anyone who's ever seen a crash test , video impact tests , help trucking companies analyze just how safe their cabs will be for drivers in a crash , crash impact tests take on a number of forms .
This includes offset barrier tests meant to simulate , crashing into the back of a truck and head on collision tests in each test .
These 120 ton trucks are crashed at speeds of 30 to 50 MPH .
Researchers and engineers evaluate damage to the test dummies which are designed to resemble actual human bodies as accurately as possible .
They take notes on which parts of the dummies receive the most damage .
This information helps researchers develop improvements to prevent that type of injury in future crashes .
They also evaluate damage to the cab itself .
This includes structures like its frame and electronic systems , semi truck , crash testing hasn't stopped evolving though , just like E V s are expected to become the standard for the car industry within the next few decades .
The same is true for semi trucks .
Scania already launched its first electric truck last year .
However , while a regular road car chassis can package battery packs inside the wheel base , the cab of the semi can't sacrifice any passenger or power train space to keep the batteries inside the frame .
Instead the cells go into boxes on the side which replaced the fuel tanks .
Because of this design , these external battery packs and protective plastic casing around them need to be crash tested for durability .
Skin uses a head on impact from Volkswagen's golf compact car traveling at 35 MPH .
The desired result is that the energy from the impact is distributed throughout the structure surrounding the battery .
The company hasn't released full data about the test but says it went as expected and the batteries emerge unscathed .
There are reasons companies like Volvo and Scania and the I I H S take truck crash testing so seriously .
Every year , about 5000 people are killed in crashes involving semi trucks in the US .
Alone in 2000 1967% were passenger car occupants .
It's the research gained from crash tests that help make trucks safer for those behind the wheel and the everyday drivers on the roads beside them .