Hidden road danger

Threat kills hundreds of people every year

Chances are, you never had reason to notice an underride guard, a device designed to keep drivers from sliding underneath the back of a semi in the event of a rear end collision.

Siene Eberhardt has reason to notice them all.

"It scares me.  If I drive on the road and see a truck that just happened to be there, I will speed up just to get away from it," she said.

It was August 17, 2001.

"The last time I saw him he was wearing his uniform to for work that day."

Donald Eberhardt Jr. was headed home from his shift as a Riviera Beach Police Officer when a late night knock on the door of his home alarmed his wife.

"I thought it was maybe, he got shot," she said.

Officer Eberhardt's wife would learn her husband had crashed into the back of a semi illegally parked on Blue Heron Boulevard.

But what killed him was an old, rusted out underride guard that, literally, collapsed when it was hit.  Without the guard in place, Eberhardt's car was able to slide underneath 12,000 lbs of steel.  The impact shredded the Mustang's roof to pieces. 

"Meeting the minimum requirement really isn't sufficient," said Matthew Brumbelow, Senior Research Engineer for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Coming up Monday at 11 pm, learn why the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety now says underride guards don't work and learn what they believe is the solution to saving lives.

Click here for the full report .

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