Petitions & Collaborative Efforts Are Making Progress In Ending Preventable Crash Deaths

I am thankful for the progress which has been made in traffic safety and underride protection. And I am asking you all to hang in there with us and keep pushing for more.

Please sign and share these two petitions:

  1. Just launched this petition directed to NHTSA calling on them to mandate side guards on trucks; they have been talking about it since 1969. Technology is available. Let’s get at it! Mandate Side Guards On Large Trucks To End Deadly Side Underride Crashes  http://www.thepetitionsite.com/104/026/213/mandate-side-guards-on-large-trucks-to-end-deadly-side-underride-crashes/
  2. Traffic Safety Ombudsman Petition: We propose that the United States establish an independent Office of National Traffic Safety Ombudsman to be an advocate to eliminate preventable crash deaths and serious injuries.  http://www.thepetitionsite.com/384/321/600/end-preventable-crash-fatalities-appoint-a-national-traffic-safety-ombudsman/

Roads Safer

Reports on Past Petitions:

Collaborative Effort: Media Coverage of the first Truck Underride Roundtable held at IIHS on May 5, 2016

Together, we are indeed making the roads safer — one step at a time. Thank you.

Recent Posts on Important Safety Advocacy Events & Issues

A lot has been happening recently in our safety advocacy efforts. In order to make that information readily available, but not take up too much space on the Home Page, I will list some of the posts as links here:

    1. New on the Market: Angel Wing Side Guard Solution To Prevent Truck Underride Deaths & Injuries Good news for those of us who travel on the roads. . . There will soon be a safety product on the market: a side guard to prevent passenger vehicles — as well as pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcycle riders —  from riding under the sides of large trucks upon collision. . .
    2. A Very Mary Birthday: What Mary would have done & what I did without her on her birthday How would Mary have celebrated her 17th birthday today? Well, I don’t know for sure. But I know that she would have enjoyed making her own homemade pizza with us tonight. (Or would she have chosen something else for her birthday meal?) . . . Whatever she would have chosen to do on her special day, Mary would have made the most of it because “every day’s a holiday with Mary” and she knew how to live joyfully — when she wasn’t grumpy, that is.  . .
    3. New Care2 Petition to End Preventable Crash Deaths: Appoint a Traffic Safety Ombudsman After one more awful truck crash tragedy last weekend, I decided to launch a new petition on Care2 where we had our previous petitions.This happened on Sunday in Nebraska: Young family killed in I-80 crash was headed to Colorado for missionary trainingOh, and here is another deadly truck underride crash which just happened yesterday in Michigan! Car lodged under semi trailer in crash; 1 dead
    4. Tesla crash fatality could have been stopped by side guards. Tell NHTSA to require them on trucks.The U.S. has been talking about the tragedies of side underride and the possibility of using side guards on trucks since 1969. The recent Tesla S underride crash fatality could quite likely have been prevented if there had been a side guard on the tractor-trailer it collided with. So why is NHTSA still not requiring side guards on trucks? Tell NHTSA to require them; make a Public Comment on the Federal Register here. (Click on the Comment Now button ; then select Public Comment Category.) See a recent crash test of an innovative side guard: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_T1EANb6Ys
    5. Knights of the Underride Roundtable: Finding Some Common Ground to Protect Travelers! On June 24, 12 people from diverse backgrounds met around a table at the IIHS offices in Arlington, Virginia, to continue the good work begun at the Underride Roundtable on May 5, 2016. This time, we rolled up our sleeves and hammered out a written recommendation for better rear underride guard requirements for tractor-trailers. To save lives.
    6. Important Follow-up to the Underride Roundtable, June 24 at IIHS: The Work Continues To read posts which I wrote as a follow-up to the Underride Roundtable, go here:  Underride Roundtable Follow-up Posts
    7. Media Coverage of the first Truck Underride Roundtable held at IIHS on May 5, 2016 You will find multiple links below reporting on the Underride Roundtable, which took place on May 5, 2016 at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Vehicle Research Center in Ruckersville Center, co-hosted by them with the Truck Safety Coalition, and our family (AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety). . .
    8. With the Underride Roundtable coming up soon, I put together a post with links to just about everything I have ever found out about underride. I hope that someone makes good use of the information provided: Underride Roundtable To Consider Underride Research From Around the Globe.Also included is an Dragon Underride Protector Wish List form which I hope people will fill out and send to me.First photo is of a German researcher. I included an article about his work, with a link to help you translate it from German to English. Just tryin’ to be helpful!
    9. An impressive group headed for the Truck Underride Roundtable at IIHS May 5. I heard from Andy Young today. He will be the Moderator for the Panel Discussion at the Underride Roundtable next week. He is eagerly anticipating that event after just returning from attending  “The Commercial Vehicle” show in Birmingham England. He said that he has lots to share from that experience. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.I am also happy to be able to say that at the Underride Roundtable on May 5, 2016, over 65 representatives from the trucking industry, government, safety advocates, engineers, crash reconstructionists, attorneys, and media will be on hand at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Vehicle Research Center to “sit down at the table together” and discuss and demonstrate truck underride crashes.
    10. May Day: Remembering Our Butterfly Girls–Full of Life, Frozen in Time Last year, I saw this statue of two young girls excited about a butterfly in a jar. It reminded me so much of AnnaLeah and Mary. We decided to get it this year to help us as we remember the 3rd anniversary of our truck crash, on May 4, 2013, which took Mary and AnnaLeah from us.
    11. “Trucks Are Getting More Dangerous And Drivers Are Falling Asleep At The Wheel. Thank Congress.” If you are at all concerned about the possibility of you, or someone you know, being in a truck crash, READ this Huffington Post (April 16, 2016) article: Trucks Are Getting More Dangerous And Drivers Are Falling Asleep At The Wheel. Thank Congress. . . April 22, 2016 UPDATE:  https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1009356475813533&id=464993830249803
    12. What will it take to make a significant reduction in the number of people who die on our roads?  Today, I watched some of  the live streaming of NHTSA’s conference, Driving Behavioral Change in Traffic Safety. As I listened to the various speakers and panel discussions, many thoughts and questions went through my mind. . .
    13. Tell Obama you are standing with us in this: “Family Continues Fight for Trucking Safety” Please read the news report by our local reporter, Brie Handgraaf, about our recent delivery of 20,000+ Vision Zero Petitions to Washington: Family continues fight for trucking safety.Then, contact President Obama online and ask him to read the Vision Zero Petition Book, which was delivered to him at the White House yesterday. . .
    14. Delivery of a Vision Zero Petition to Washington; What I have learned in our battle for safer roads  I  am having a difficult time getting this post started. I shared about it briefly here and Russell Mokhiber graciously shared our story as well. Now I want to give a more in-depth report of our trip to Washington, DC, on March 3 and 4 to deliver over 20,000 Vision Zero Petitions. I want to be able to report that I am hopeful about the impact of our Vision Zero Petition. But I am mostly frustrated and angry. . .
    15. What is justice as it relates to traffic safety? Here is a timely article by Ralph Nader on the topic of Justice. . . 
    16. Witnessed safety defect in action at underride crash tests; this is what snuffed out my daughters’ lives. We have been following the progress of Aaron Kiefer’s development of an innovative side/rear underride guard, which he has designed on his own time when not working as a crash reconstructionist or spending time with his family. So we eagerly welcomed his invitation to help out in his MacGyver-style crash test this past Saturday. (By the way, I am a big fan of MacGyver–watched every episode on DVD with Mary & AnnaLeah.)Aaron wanted to take this opportunity to test his design and find out what changes might be needed to make it a marketable and affordable option for trailer owners to install as a retrofit safety improvement. We joined a crew of his family, friends, and fellow crash reconstructionists at a junkyard in the Triangle area. . .
    17. A second round of side guard crash tests: Just got home from the latest side guard crash test. Watch it here!
    18. Are you aware that Death by Motor Vehicle is one of the leading causes of death?32,719 people died in U.S. traffic crashes in 2013.  Two of those people were my daughters, AnnaLeah (17) and Mary (13). That number decreased to 32,675 deaths in 2014–down by 44, but still far too many deaths in my book. In fact, early estimates show 2015 trending higher.And how many of those deaths were due to truck underride and could have been prevented by a stronger, more effective underride protection system? Underride deaths are preventable and unnecessary and now is the time to take extreme action to reduce these deaths–no matter who caused the crash!I survived a horrific truck crash in which our car was pushed by a truck into the rear of another truck. Backwards. My daughters in the back seat were not so fortunate; they went under the truck and the truck broke their innocent bodies. . .
    19. Do it, President Obama, for We the People of this United States of America! #VisionZero  I firmly believe that, in order to move as a nation Toward a Vision of Zero Crash Deaths, it will take take a commitment to a National Vision Zero Goal and a coordinated endeavor of government, private industry, workers of every skill imaginable, and informed citizens. Anything short of this will be disjointed and less effective, which translates into — not simply unmet project goals but — people dying. It is not an impossible dream but it will require sacrifice and will be well worth the effort. . .

DSC00917

Feds allow GM to sell recalled cars: Safety, I don’t think that word means what you think it means

Feds criticized for allowing GM to sell recalled cars:

Consumer groups are criticizing federal regulators for allowing General Motors Co. to potentially sell unrepaired used cars that have been recalled.

The Center for Auto Safety said Friday a loophole in a recent decision by the Federal Trade Commission could allow GM to sell cars that have safety defects if drivers are notified about open recalls. . .

Tsk, tsk, tsk. . .when will the industry own up to their implicit part in the highway carnage that results from the improper handling of manufacturing defects?

11wjd2

Safety: I do not think that word means what you think it means.

You can say that Safety is a Priority. But when you are told that something which you produce is not safe and you do not do anything to change it, are you really making safety a priority? I say that you are giving a very serious matter lip service.

When an “accident” happens and you look the other way rather than getting to the bottom of it, then I say that it is making light of my daughters’ deaths.

When you point the finger at someone else to take the blame for the consequences, rather than acknowledge your own part, then I say that you have become a bigger part of the problem.

I say that you do not care about providing the best possible protection, and safety is most certainly not your priority.

Safety: I do not think that word means what you think it means.

Violence

Safety is not a priority 002

Let’s appoint a Traffic Safety Ombudsman to oversee this fiasco.

Speed Limiters: The Controversy of Speed Differentials Between Trucks & Cars

The DOT recently published a proposed rule to require “speed limiters” on trucks — meaning there would be technology on trucks to limit how fast they could run. There is, of course, controversy about this proposed safety measure.

See the proposed rule (NPRM) at this link: U.S. DOT Proposes Speed Limiters For Large Commercial Vehicles

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) supports it. Some major trucking companies already use them.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) opposes it:  Among the various concerns the organization has are the possibility that truckers will speed more often in low-speed areas, such as construction zones, to make up time, and the potential for drivers to lose money because they couldn’t drive as many miles in a day. http://ht.ly/e2Hy303DTS0

According to Joel Stocksdale, Autoblog,

NHTSA’s proposal says vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,000 pounds or more must be limited to 60, 65 or 68 mph. This would apply to both semi-trucks and buses. NHTSA explains that the amount of force a truck will exert in a crash goes up far more drastically than with cars because of the vehicle’s great mass; hence, a lower speed limit with more seriously impact safety. US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx summed it up saying, “This is basic physics.” The organization also said that requiring limiters could also save over $1 billion in fuel each year.

I have corresponded with one independent truck owner-operator, Jeff Halling (and Linda, his wife–a truck driver team), about this safety issue (among others). This is what he says,

  • Personally Linda and I think this is a terrible idea. Not because we want to drive 80 miles an hour but because it totally eliminates our advantage of getting out of a situation if we have to speed up a little bit. Every credible study that has ever been conducted says traffic flows better when everyone is running the same speed. Several states have actually increased the truck speed to coincide with that of cars. Illinois and Arkansas being the most recent. Folks driving cars generally drive anywhere from 5 to 10 to 15 miles an hour above the posted limit. Trucks stuck at 65 will create major rear-end hazards. Not to mention the incredible traffic jams and road rages that will increase dramatically. The only way speed limiters will work is if all vehicles have them and we both know that’ll never happen. Very interested to see what the report says this week.
  • Can you imagine how this will affect the Move Over Law. I’m running down the interstate stuck at 65 cars are running 80 and 85 miles an hour. An emergency vehicle is on the shoulder in front of me what do I do. If I move over it’s guaranteed rear-end crash. If I slow down to 40 miles an hour which is what they recommend another possibility of rear-end crash. Just not a good idea.
  • I can say this though. If this law does pass we definitely need to get stronger rear end guards on trailers. Because rear-end crashes will go up ten fold.

Jeff and his wife (they are a trucking team) recently had a good conversation, about truck safety concerns, with an Idaho DOT vehicle inspector while they were being inspected. This is what he told them:

  • While we never touched on the subject of speed limiters he did say he did not like speed differentials. Although we got the impression he wanted to lower the limit for cars not raise it for trucks. Makes sense everybody drives too damn fast.

In fact, I found a September 2004 Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) article on research related to this topic: The Safety Impacts of Differential Speed Limits on Rural Interstate Highways . They study the impact of Uniform Speed Limits (USL) and Differential Speed Limits (DSDL). Here are a couple of quotes from that article:

  • A 1974 study by Hall and Dickinson showed that speed differences contributed to crashes, primarily rear end and lane change collisions.
  • Table 1 shows that a higher proportion of car-into-truck and truck-into-car crashes occurred in USL States, except for rear end crashes where more car-into truck collisions happened in the DSL group.
  • A study by Garber and Gadiraju conducted in 1991 compared crash rates in the adjacent States of Virginia (DSL) and West Virginia (USL).(3) The increase in the posted speed limit for trucks to 105 km/h (65 mi/h) did not result in a significant increase in fatal, injury, and overall accident rates. There was, however, some evidence that the DSL may increase some types of crash rates while reducing others.

It will be some time before every car is equipped with crash avoidance technology, so cars rear-ending trucks will continue to be a problem and underride deaths will still be a problem until the underride regulation is drastically improved.

And, even with the crash avoidance technology, what will be the result of high speed differentials? Will the cars truly avoid colliding with the truck? Will the trucking industry be required to protect against underride at higher speed collisions than what is currently proposed: 35 mph?

Here is a previous post which I wrote on speed limiters last spring:

See why truckers oppose Speed Limiters & why others promote them #VisionZero strategy needed

How is it that I, as a self-made (Ha! like I had a choice) safety advocate, am waffling on this purported safety measure? Do these things ever get a truly comprehensive discussion around the table?

Talkin together

Yet one more traffic safety issue which could perhaps be more effectively negotiated with the help of a National Traffic Safety Ombudsman. . . just sayin’.

Cinnamon & Ants: Making Sense Out of a Truck Crash Tragedy

Two years ago, I wrote a facebook post about what ants & cinnamon had taught me about truck crash tragedy and grief. I was reminded of that this morning as our family is, once again, battling a kitchen ant invasion.

Here is the postCinnamon & Ants: Making Sense Out Of Tragedy
Ants invaded our kitchen last week–through the windows. We had tried pesticide on the floor by the door the week before and they clearly re-routed.

One morning, when I came out to the kitchen, I discovered over 100 ants marching one by one (boo! boo!).

Now they were tiny and easily squashed with my finger, but they were all over the counter and windowsill and I needed to be doing other things with my time. So I sprayed them with my citrus spray and that took care of those unwelcome invaders.

Of course, they were only the tip of the iceberg. So I. . .

Well, you will have to read the rest of the story here: Cinnamon & Ants: Making Sense Out Of Tragedy

And here is the video that goes with it:

2 crash deaths17hou5

“Money At Root of Takata’s Tragic History”

Talking about SAFETY becomes meaningless when no one really values human life over making a profit. When will we get that and say that we have had enough?

Latest email from Lou Lombardo:

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

NY Times publishes an excellent article on victims of vehicle violence due to air bag defects known for more than a decade.

“In the late 1990s, General Motors got an unexpected and enticing offer. A little-known Japanese supplier, Takata, had designed a much cheaper automotive airbag.

G.M. turned to its airbag supplier — the Swedish-American company Autoliv — and asked it to match the cheaper design or risk losing the automaker’s business, according to Linda Rink, who was a senior scientist at Autoliv assigned to the G.M. account at the time.

But when Autoliv’s scientists studied the Takata airbag, they found that it relied on a dangerously volatile compound in its inflater, a critical part that causes the airbag to expand.

“We just said, ‘No, we can’t do it. We’re not going to use it,’” said Robert Taylor, Autoliv’s head chemist until 2010.

Today, that compound is at the heart of the largest automotive safety recall in history. At least 14 people have been killed and more than 100 have been injured by faulty inflaters made by Takata. More than 100 million of its airbags have been installed in cars in the United States by General Motors and 16 other automakers.

Details of G.M.’s decision-making process almost 20 years ago, which has not been reported previously, suggest that a quest for savings of just a few dollars per airbag compromised a critical safety device, resulting in passenger deaths. The findings also indicate that automakers played a far more active role in the prelude to the crisis: Rather than being the victims of Takata’s missteps, automakers pressed their suppliers to put cost before all else.”

NY Times also publishes a useful article on what consumers can and should know and do.

“Defective airbags made by Takata have been tied to at least 14 deaths and more than 100 injuries. The ensuing recall — the largest in automotive history — has turned out to be messy, confusing and frustrating for car owners.”

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/business/takata-airbag-recall-guide.html

These stories need to be widely shared.  They give us all useful information on the root of vehicle violence: money.

Lou
Life & Death11wjd2
What can the American people do about this?
Safety is not a priority 002

NHTSA asking for Comments on guideline to address growing problem of distracted & drowsy driving

I just received a notification that NHTSA is asking for Public Comments on a new guideline which they have developed for states to address the growing problem of distracted and drowsy driving. This follows recent news about the number of crash deaths so far in 2016 which has increased from the crash deaths in 2015 which increased from the crash deaths in 2013  — which included my two youngest daughters, AnnaLeah (17) and Mary (13).

NHTSA has developed a new guideline on distracted and drowsy driving, No. 9, to address these growing problems. This new guideline will help States develop plans to address distracted and drowsy driving. In 2014, ten percent of fatal crashes, 18 percent of injury crashes, and 16 percent of all police-reported motor vehicle traffic crashes were reported as distraction-affected crashes. These proportions have remained stable over the past five years of reported data. In 2014, there were 3,179 people killed and an estimated additional 431,000 injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distraction-affected drivers. Ten percent of all drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers killed in the age range who were distracted at the time of the crashes. Lastly, in 2014, there were 520 non-occupants, such as pedestrians and bicyclists, killed in distraction-affected crashes. (1) The limitations of these data are described in an April 2016 Traffic Safety Facts Research Note (DOT HS 812 260). (2)

Current estimates range from 2 percent to 20 percent of annual traffic deaths attributable to driver drowsiness. According to NHTSA, annually on average from 2009 to 2013, there were over 72,000 police-reported crashes involving drowsy drivers, injuring more than an estimated 41,000 people, and killing more than 800. (3) By using a multiple imputation methodology, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimated that 7 percent of all crashes and 16.5 percent of fatal crashes involved a drowsy driver. (4) This estimate suggests that more than 5,000 people died in drowsy-driving-related motor vehicle crashes across the United States last year. Research conducted in 2012 by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety showed drivers ages 16-24 were the most likely to report having fallen asleep while driving within the past year. (5) Finally, the AAA Foundation’s 2015 Traffic Safety Index reported that nearly all drivers (97.0%) view drowsy driving as a serious threat to their safety and a completely unacceptable behavior; however, nearly 1 in 3 (31.5%) admitted to driving when they were so tired that they had a hard time keeping their eyes open at some point in the past month. (6)

It is important that States begin to address the problems of distracted and drowsy driving. This guideline is designed to help policymakers with decisions about how best to address these growing issues.

READ MORE HERE:  Amendments to Highway Safety Program Guidelines

Irreversible tragedies

Please comment here by September 22, 2016: Amendments to Highway Safety Program Guidelines

DWF = Driving While Fatigued (or Drowsy Driving)

Driver fatigue can affect any driver–you included, or the driver of a vehicle in which you are a passenger.

“…Driving while fatigued is comparable to driving drunk, only there is not the same social stigma attached. Like alcohol, fatigue affects our ability to drive by slowing reaction time, decreasing awareness and impairing judgment. Driving while sleep impaired is a significant issue, and is no longer tolerated. Legislation {in Canada} is beginning to change by handling collisions cause by a fatigued driver as seriously as alcohol-impaired crashes.” https://canadasafetycouncil.org/safety-canada-online/article/driver-fatigue-falling-asleep-wheel

Posts on this topic:

Our truck crash may have involved a tired trucker: http://annaleahmary.com/2014/07/our-crash-was-not-an-accident/

Tired Trucker Roundtable

http://annaleahmary.com/2016/08/tired-trucker-roundtable-if-we-plan-it-they-will-come-can-we-pull-it-off/

A National Traffic Safety Ombudsman could help to facilitate a nationwide network of Traffic Safety/Vision Zero Community Action/Advocacy Groups to get citizens involved in working to solve this kind of problem, as well as other traffic safety issues.

Why would we suppress available technology that could be put to use to protect innocent lives?

Call on the Lord. Trust in Him. Rely on His strength.
41b AnnaLeah armor
The Battle is the LORD’s!
Surely it would be His will for available technology to be put to use to protect innocent lives.
 
Then Asa called to the LORD his God, and said, ‘Lord, there is no one besides Thee to help in the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength; so help us, O LORD our God, for we trust in Thee, and in Thy name have come against this multitude. O LORD, Thou are our God; let not man prevail against Thee.’
2 Chronicles 14:11
Car Safety Wars11wjd2Gertie reaching for Mary ...Susanna's film25 AnnaLeah Jesus Loves Me 052
Trip North May 2015 138IMG_4467

Remembering Mary & AnnaLeah with another patchwork quilt of memories

Finished Quilt #2 last night. . . a hand-sewn patchwork quilt. Every square of AnnaLeah’s and Mary’s clothes sewn together by hand and with loving remembrance:

Quilt and Storm 032

2 alm IMG_0342 Picture 290

See lots more photos here: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1086828024733044&id=464993830249803

And here is Quilt #1 – finished last summer:

Remembering Mary & AnnaLeah in a Patchwork Quilt of Memories

 

Truck Underride Tragedies Need to End; Enough is enough!

I recently asked DOT for a breakdown of truck underride deaths by type: front, side, and rear. Yesterday, they sent a chart of Underride Fatalities from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)–taken from crash reports submitted to DOT:

From 1994 to 2014, this is the breakdown of Deaths by Underride:

Collision at Front of the Truck: 625

Collision at Side of the Truck: 1534

Collision at Rear of the Truck: 1715

Collision Site Unknown: 132

Total Underride Deaths Reported: 4,006

Truck Underride Deaths by TYPE 1994-2014

Of course, we need to remember that these figures do not include all underride deaths, as it is well-known that they are commonly under-reported. In fact, this chart does not include underride crashes which happened when the truck was parked. When we include those types of crashes, the FARS records yield 5,081 underride deaths in that same time period.

Truck Underride Fatalities, 1994-2014

I have known for some time that there are many deaths due to side underride crashes. But to find out that there are almost as many deaths from side underride as rear underride?! How can NHTSA require rear underride guards and yet not mandate side underride guards? How can they possibly justify that? (Some kind of convoluted cost/benefit analysis, I suppose.) And why are trucks even sold without side guards?

The question must be asked: Whom shall we hold responsible for those 4,006+ deaths (and those not reported as underride deaths), along with the people who died before 1994? The government? The trucking industry? Ourselves for letting it happen in our ignorance or apathy? All of us?

And what about now–today? Will we hold those, who have the authority to act, accountable to do the right thing? Will we demand that they move ahead quickly to correct this tragic and unimaginable situation? Will we make sure that all trucks have the best possible underride protection?

Well?!

Mangled

our mangled Crown Vic on May 4, 2013

Life & DeathIf only

Sign our petition to NHTSA to initiate rulemaking on side guards: Mandate Side Guards On Large Trucks To End Deadly Side Underride Crashes

Demand that we act compassionately to preserve human life rather than protect profit. Otherwise, if we knowingly allow this to continue unabated, will we all be accessories to murder?

Two of the thousands we have lost:

 

Truck Underride Deaths (by type) from DOT Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) 1994-2014

I asked DOT for a breakdown of truck underride deaths by type: front, side, and rear. I just received that chart today.

Truck Underride Deaths by TYPE 1994-2014

From 1994 to 2014, this is the breakdown of Deaths by Underride:

Collision at Front of the Truck: 625

Collision at Side of the Truck: 1534

Collision at Rear of the Truck: 1715

Collision Site Unknown: 132

Total Underride Deaths Reported: 4,006

Of course, we need to remember that these figures do not include all underride deaths as it is well-known that they are commonly under-reported.

So why are trucks sold without side guards? (Why on earth would this be an optional feature?!) And why does NHTSA not mandate side guards?

Sign our petition to NHTSA to initiate rulemaking on side guards: Mandate Side Guards On Large Trucks To End Deadly Side Underride Crashes

Save Lives

Posts on Side Underride

Who has the right to block efforts to end Preventable Death by Underride?

I just got back from an errand. Something triggered a memory of AnnaLeah & Mary. I think that it was driving by a park here in Rocky Mount to which Mary and AnnaLeah never got to go. We had lived here less than a year before the crash.

It made me wonder (as I do so often) what they might be doing right now. How  might their lives have unfolded?

All my anger poured out, about how they have been cheated and how wrong it all is. I was yelling in my car, “Who gave power to the trucking industry over life & death matters?  Who has the right to block efforts to end Preventable Death by Underride?”

And that is only one of the many safety issues involved.

Yesterday I was frustrated with the whole side guard issue and the well-known under-reporting of side underride fatalities (in fact, of all types of underride). As far as I can tell, it has contributed to more underride victims as a direct result of the inaccurate cost/benefit analysis that has taken place.

Of course — in case you didn’t already know — I think that the whole cost/benefit analysis basis of safety rulemaking is flawed and unethical and needs to be re-examined. I have clearly laid out my thoughts on this in a drafted Vision Zero Executive Order.

Two more areas which make me concerned — because they do not seem to be taking into account the whole picture — are:

  1. Hours of Service (Have truckers been asked what they think would work best?) and
  2. Speed Limiters (What will truckers do when they need to speed up to get around someone but their speed limiter technology will not allow it? And speed limiters will not change situations where drivers cause crashes because they are driving “too fast for conditions.”)

One trucker, Jeff Halling, recently said to me (regarding speed limiters),

“Can you imagine how this will affect the Move Over Law? I’m running down the interstate stuck at 65 cars are running 80 and 85 miles an hour. An emergency vehicle is on the shoulder in front of me. What do I do? If I move over, it’s guaranteed rear-end crash. If I slow down to 40 miles an hour, which is what they recommend, another possibility of rear-end crash. Just not a good idea. I can say this though, If this law does pass we definitely need to get stronger rear end guards on trailers. Because rear-end crashes will go up ten-fold.”

Both of these situations — in my mind — need someone to facilitate rulemaking who has only safety in mind. Such as a Traffic Safety Ombudsman.

And, one more thing. . .  the pervasive idea in this country has to be confronted that it is an inevitable and acceptable risk you take when you drive on the roads, instead of understanding that there are so many things which could be done to prevent crash deaths.

Who has the power