A running list of links to recent, significant posts on annaleahmary.com

It is encouraging that a lot of positive things are happening in recent months, especially related to underride protection. In order to keep that information readily accessible but not keep it at the top of the site as sticky posts, I am going to keep a running list of links to recent, significant posts:

    1. The Second Underride Roundtable was held at the IIHS Vehicle Research Center in Ruckersville, Virginia, on August 29, 2017. Read media reports of this successful gathering of various stakeholders to work together to improve comprehensive underride protection: Media Coverage of the Second Underride Roundtable
    2. WUSA9 recently began an extensive investigation into truck underride. The segments which have already aired are listed here. They plan to shed light on the problem until it is adequately addressed in this country.
    3. Just How Far Have We Come In The 50 Years Since Jayne Mansfield’s Death By Truck Underride?June 29 marked the 50th anniversary of Jayne Mansfield’s death by underride. The world knew in 1967 — if it didn’t know it before — about the terrible geometric mismatch between a car and a truck which allowed a car to ride under a truck upon collision.In those 50 years, how many technological problems have we solved? And yet why have we been unable to solve the problem of truck underride and stem the tide of preventable, horrific, and senseless underride tragedies? . . . NOTE: There are two posts almost exactly alike because of a technical glitch. I posted the first one and it couldn’t be shared correctly on facebook. So I posted the second one. Still a problem. So I got my computer geek consultant to work on the problem and, with a little (or a lot) of hard work, dedication, & creativity, the problem is now solved. See, what we can do if we put our mind to it!

    4. Becoming educated about underride was not a direction I had planned on going with my life and time. But I have gained a great deal of knowledge related to the fact that AnnaLeah’s and Mary’s deaths (and Roya’s, too, along with countless other individual loved ones) might have been prevented had adequate underride protection been on the truck, into which our sturdy Crown Vic crashed — along with the fact that many more countless, unknown individuals will die unless this country takes decisive action.This information, along with my unresolved grief due to the frustration of knowing that years have gone by without effective protection, fuels my efforts to work collaboratively to bring about widespread and significant change. It is now my aim to equip everyone with the same information — without the accompanying unwanted grief.
      1. Truck Underride 101: Overview of Contents
      2. Truck Underride 101: I. When Will We Tackle Truck Underride?
      3. Truck Underride 101: II. Why Comprehensive Underride Protection?
      4. Truck Underride 101: Part III. Cost Benefit Analysis, Underride Rulemaking, and Vision Zero (including Underride Statistics)
      5. Truck Underride 101: Part IV Win/Win
      6. Truck Underride 101: Part V. Bipartisan Discussion of Legislative Strategy
    5. Has FMCSA Done Due Diligence To Appropriately Address Trucking Minimum Liability Insurance Question?After a truck crash killed our daughters, AnnaLeah (17) and Mary (13) on May 4, 2013, we discovered that there were many problems with truck safety, including inadequate trucking liability insurance. In 1980, Congress set the level of liability insurance for trucking companies at a MINIMUM of $750,000. If that were adjusted for inflation, it would be $2,225,643 in 2017. Yet, DOT has not once raised that level in 37 years — thereby jeopardizing the safety of the traveling public.

      In fact, on June 5, 2017, the FMCSA withdrew the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on the Appropriateness of the Current Financial Responsibility and Security Requirements for Motor Carriers, Brokers, and Freight Forwarders, which was intended to raise that minimum. The history of that rulemaking is summarized below. . .

      Sign a Petition Asking for Immediate Action: Protect Vulnerable Travelers: Demand Immediate Increase in Trucking Liability Insurance

    6. Hard-to-watch Video Footage of IIHS Side Underride Crash Testing, Watch the video footage of this historic IIHS side underride crash testing at 35 mph on March 30 and 31, 2017 — with and without a side guard. It speaks for itself. . .
    7. IIHS Proves That Side Underride Crashes Are Deadly But Preventable: Seeing Is Believing, On March 30, Jerry and I witnessed a crash test at 35 mph of a car into the side of a trailer  — with an AngelWing side guard installed — at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Vehicle Research Center in Ruckersville, Virginia. The guard was successful in stopping the car from riding under the trailer, i.e., passenger occupants would have survived.The next day, another car was crashed at 35 mph into the side of a trailer — with a side skirt but no side guard. The car went under the trailer. Occupants would not have survived. . .
    8. Sign our Side Guard Petition here to let our government & trucking industry leaders know that you want them to act NOW to SAVE LIVES by putting side guards on large trucks.
    9. How You Can Help Us Get Comprehensive Underride Protection On Trucks, I know that I can’t be the only person in this country (or the planet for that matter) who would like to see trucks made safer to drive around. So, for anyone else who would like to help get comprehensive underride protection on trucks in the U.S., here are some ideas. . .
    10. SAVE THE DATE for the Second Underride Roundtable: Tuesday, August 29, 2017 at IIHS SAVE THE DATE for the Second Underride Roundtable: Tuesday, August 29, 2017: We will continue to discuss how to bring about the BEST POSSIBLE UNDERRIDE PROTECTION. IIHS will once again co-host this event, with the Truck Safety Coalition and AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety, at their Vehicle Research Center. . .
    11. Question for the ATA: Is it necessary to choose EITHER crash avoidance OR occupant protection — not BOTH?, After the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released their news about side underride crash testing, I began searching online for media reports on the results of their dynamic crash testing of a collision into the side of a trailer with and without a guard.Among other things, I found —  in at least one article — explanations from the IIHS and a reaction from the American Trucking Associations (ATA). . .
    12. 2 Moms, Sick & Tired of Waiting, Draft Truck Underride Legislation, So, what did you do today? If someone were to ask me that question, I would have to admit that I spent hours emailing legislators in Washington, D.C. — asking them to sponsor and support the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act of 2017, otherwise known as RAM CUP Act of 2017.My partner in the process was Lois Durso, a mom who lost her 26 year-old daughter, Roya Sadigh, 12 years ago to a side underride crash. Still to this day, side guards are not required on the sides of large trucks — even though there were 1,534 reported side underride deaths from 1994-2014 in the U.S. . .
    13. Why COMPREHENSIVE Underride Protection Legislation?, Why, you might ask, would we write a piece of legislation calling for a comprehensive underride protection rule? Why not have separate bills for side underride and rear underride and front underride and Single Unit Trucks (SUTs), et cetera?I am convinced of the importance of this strategy and want to share some of my thoughts here about the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act. RAM CUP: A DIFFERENT STRATEGY TO ACHIEVE UNDERRIDE PROTECTION. . .
    14. Side Underride Problem & Solutions Featured on The Today Show, Ronan Farrow investigated the side underride problem and here is his report on The Today Show, February 7, 2017. . .
    15. How can we possibly justify allowing Death by Underride to continue when solutions exist to prevent it?, As I allow myself to remember the joy and laughter and love and creativity and grumpiness and irritability and silliness of my daughters, AnnaLeah and Mary, I also remember why I am working tirelessly to bring an end to Death by Underride — which snatched AnnaLeah from this earthly life on May 4, 2013, and Mary on May 8, 2013. I was in that horrific truck crash four years ago today. I survived but they did not because of Death by Underride. . .
    16. Mandates take burden off manufacturers. Crash tests in labs better than crash tests occurring in real world., Lou Lombardo has written a thought-provoking opinion piece, Creating a Demand for Crash Testing (CTTI, September 2011). It holds great value in confirming the need for comprehensive underride protection legislation to be introduced and passed in a timely manner. . .
    17. They fought the good fight, they finished the race. . .
    18. Every Day’s A Holiday With Mary; Joyful Memories of Mary
    19. Amazing Grace Goodbye, AnnaLeah & Mary, With Love From Grandpa
    20. Truck Industry Leaders: “Clarity is probably the biggest need we have so we can plan accordingly.”
    21. AnnaLeah Karth. May 15, 1995 – May 4, 2013. Death by Underride.
    22. Car Dragged By Semi Due To Defective Truck Design
    23. If people die from riding under Single Unit Trucks, why aren’t they required to have underride protection?
    24. When Will We Tackle Underride? – The Hidden Dangers in Trucks (Trucks.com, August 10, 2016)When people learned of the recent fatal crash in Florida of a Tesla Model S running in its Autopilot mode, many started questioning the safety of autonomous driving features in the newest cars.While this is a legitimate topic of debate, for now autonomous driving presents little threat to those on the road. It comes on just a handful of expensive luxury models, and there’s only a small chance that the car driving next to you will have a robot at the controls.However, the tragic Tesla crash does highlight a real and present highway danger — cars sliding underneath large trucks when vehicles collide. Regardless of who was at fault in the Tesla crash, the driver might have lived if the truck had been required to have side guards that would have prevented the electric sports sedan from wedging underneath the trailer.I know just how dangerous collisions like this can be. My youngest daughters, AnnaLeah and Mary, died in 2013 in a truck rear underride crash.

     

The Naming of an Underride Bill; Out of the Mouths of Babes

Ever since we began sharing about our crash so that we could help to make trucks safer, people have been touched by the story of AnnaLeah and Mary. They tell us how they can’t drive down the highway and see trucks without thinking about them. It clearly touches their heads & hearts. They get what rear underride is.

The same is true when Lois Durso shares the story of her daughter Roya’s crash. People suddenly understand what a side underride crash is and why we are working to prevent these kinds of tragedies. Tears come to their eyes.

So that is why — when we saw that no one was doing anything to mandate side guards, front guards, and stronger rear guards on new trucks, including single unit [box] trucks, as well as retrofit existing trucks with the same life-saving protection and making sure that they were properly maintained — we decided to draft comprehensive underride protection legislation ourselves.

And, when we were figuring out what to call the bill, we naturally named it for what was so very precious to us — our beloved daughters, who were no more. We wrote it in memory of the countless loved ones whose lives had been forever changed — each of whom are very precious to the loved ones they left behind.

It has become our calling card: the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act of 2017 (RAMCUP). And we are concerned that we are being asked to take the girls’ names off of the bill title (so that other underride victims will not feel left out) — not because we think that they are more important than anyone else, but rather because we believe that their stories have been what have helped to bring national attention to this issue and better understanding of the problem, along with a willingness to do whatever it takes to end it. We would like to keep that momentum going until this bill gets passed.

In fact, it would never be possible to include a list of names in a bill which would honor all the victims of underride. There are thousands of them and, furthermore, because it is a hidden problem, many people might not even realize that underride was involved in their loved one’s death.

But it is our hope that we will be able to plan significant ways to honor those who have been injured or lost their lives through an underride crash, such as a Remembrance Ceremony in D.C. or an underride personal crash story interactive map and a webpage on the DOT website — giving family members a positive way to be involved in the effort to get effective underride protection on all trucks and to remember their loved ones in a special way. Hey, they could even get a shirt printed with their loved one’s picture and name on it!

Just recently, Lois texted me with this encouragement:

The Lord is speaking to my heart — do not worry, all is well. He is my praise, hope, and strength.

Then she shared this story which made my heart hurt:

Today, my daughter-in-law was wearing her RAMCUP shirt. My 20 month-old granddaughter, Miriam Roya, pointed to and said the names of Roya, AnnaLeah and Mary. . . Even a baby can remember our beautiful daughters.

Miriam Roya, who will never know her Aunt Roya

Miriam’s daddy, Cyrus, with his sister Roya

We’re with you, Miriam. . . we will always remember this very important bill as the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act of 2017 — because it is our great love for those three girls, and our sense of urgency that no one else should undergo this kind of preventable loss, which has fueled our efforts to make sure that this major public health problem gets properly taken care of.

History of Underride Research & Reports: 1896 to 2017

Jerry Karth, Lois Durso, and I recently compiled this extensive list of U.S. underride research, reports, and recommendations beginning in 1896 and continuing to this day. I think that it speaks for itself: effective and comprehensive underride protection is long-overdue. This list is referred to in a recent post on this topic.

1896 This patent for a side underride protective device for street cars was issued on July 14 1896 and cited by numerous more recent underride patents: http://www.google.com.pg/patents/US564027.

1913 A patent was issued in 1913 for a “Safety Device for Motor Vehicles” to provide underride protection for the sides of large trucks. https://www.google.com/patents/US1127241 Since that time, numerous patents have been published which refer to this 1913 patent (with the patent information organized in these columns: Citing Patent, Filing date, Publication date, Applicant, Title):

US4688824 * Mar 4, 1986 Aug 25, 1987 Herring John D Safety device for vehicles
CN100572144C May 27, 2005 Dec 23, 2009 沃尔沃拉斯特瓦格纳公司 Device for a vehicle side anticollision box, and a vehicle comprising such a side anticollision box
US7407204 * Nov 27, 2006 Aug 5, 2008 Volvo Lastvagnar Ab Arrangement for a vehicle side fairing, and a vehicle comprising such a side fairing
US20070085355 * Nov 27, 2006 Apr 19, 2007 Volvo Lastvagnar Ab Arrangement for a vehicle side fairing, and a vehicle comprising such a side fairing
US7780224 Jun 9, 2008 Aug 24, 2010 Vanguard National Trailer Corporation Crash attenuating underride guard
US20080303311 * Jun 9, 2008 Dec 11, 2008 Vanguard National Trailer Corporation Crash attenuating underride guard
US7887120 Jan 26, 2009 Feb 15, 2011 Transtex Composite Inc. Aerodynamic trailer skirts
US7942467 Dec 24, 2009 May 17, 2011 Transtex Composite Inc. Aerodynamic skirt support member
US7942468 Dec 24, 2009 May 17, 2011 Transtex Composite Inc. Aerodynamic skirt securing mechanism
US7942469 Dec 24, 2009 May 17, 2011 Transtex Composite Inc. Aerodynamic skirt panel
US7942470 Dec 24, 2009 May 17, 2011 Transtex Composite Inc. Aerodynamic skirt opening
US7942471 Dec 24, 2009 May 17, 2011 Trnastex Composite Inc. Aerodynamic skirt shape
US20090189414 * Jan 26, 2009 Jul 30, 2009 Mathieu Boivin Aerodynamic trailer skirts
US20100096880 * Dec 24, 2009 Apr 22, 2010 Mathieu Boivin Aerodynamic skirt panel
US20100096882 * Dec 24, 2009 Apr 22, 2010 Mathieu Boivin Aerodynamic skirt opening
US20100096883 * Dec 24, 2009 Apr 22, 2010 Mathieu Boivin Aerodynamic skirt shape
US20100187856 * Dec 24, 2009 Jul 29, 2010 Mathieu Boivin Aerodynamic skirt support member
US20100187856 * Dec 24, 2009 Jul 29, 2010 Mathieu Boivin Aerodynamic skirt support member
US20100264691 * Apr 15, 2010 Oct 21, 2010 Giromini Richard J Side underride cable system for a trailer
US8292351 Apr 3, 2011 Oct 23, 2012 Transtex Composite Inc. Resilient strut for aerodynamic skirt
US9004575 Aug 3, 2011 Apr 14, 2015 Gary Alan Grandominico Aerodynamic skirt assembly
US20110175396 * Apr 3, 2011 Jul 21, 2011 Mathieu Boivin Aerodynamic skirt
US8398150 Apr 17, 2012 Mar 19, 2013 Wabash National, L.P. Side skirt system for a trailer
US8449017 Sep 11, 2012 May 28, 2013 Transtex Composites Inc. Aerodynamic skirt resilient member
US20120169086 * Mar 7, 2012 Jul 5, 2012 Giromini Richard J Side underride cable system for a trailer
US8579359 Jan 15, 2013 Nov 12, 2013 Wabash National, L.P. Side skirt system for a trailer
US8678474 * May 17, 2013 Mar 25, 2014 Transtex Composite Inc. Self-repositioning aerodynamic skirt
US8783758 Mar 19, 2013 Jul 22, 2014 Wabash National, L.P. Folding side skirt system for a trailer
US8801078 Oct 9, 2013 Aug 12, 2014 Wabash National, L.P. Side skirt system for a trailer
US9199676 Jul 2, 2014 Dec 1, 2015 Wabash National, L. P. Side skirt system for a trailer
US9409610 Mar 11, 2015 Aug 9, 2016 Wabash National, L.P. Side skirt system for a trailer
US9573636 Mar 12, 2015 Feb 21, 2017 Ridge Corporation Aerodynamic skirt assembly
US9688320 Oct 27, 2015 Jun 27, 2017 Wabash National, L.P. Side skirt system for a trailer

1969 DOT published a document for rear underride proposed rulemaking on the Federal Register on March 19, 1969, indicating that they “anticipated that the proposed Standard will be amended, after technical studies have been completed, to extend the requirement for underride protection to the sides of large vehicles.” http://annaleahmary.com/2016/03/side-guards-the-original-intent-of-nhtsa-rulemakers-in-the-1969-nprm-docket-no-1-11-notice-2/

1977 Page Patent guard rail for side protection on large wheel vehicles, 1977 US Side Guard Patent US4060268 William Page.pdf

1977 An Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash test research illustrates the ineffectiveness of 1953 rear underride guard.  http://www.iihs.org/externaldata/srdata/docs/sr1206.pdf#page=5

1977 A Senate hearing leads to new calls for stronger underride protections, and illustrates the inadequacies of existing requirements.  http://www.iihs.org/externaldata/srdata/docs/sr1206.pdf   

1996  Volvo began manufacturing trucks with Front Underrun Protection in 1996 in Europe. This is a patent filed in 2007 for an “Underrun protector and method of providing underrun protection.”  http://www.google.sr/patents/WO2008002242A1?cl=en Other relevant information on front underrun protection can be found here: http://annaleahmary.com/tag/front-underrun-protection/

1997 Study illustrates the discrepancies in The Fatal Accident Reporting System (FARS) underride fatality count when compared to the NHTSA database, highlighting that more people are dying from underride than are being recorded. http://www.iihs.org/externaldata/srdata/docs/sr3202.pdf

2009 IIHS begins to call for the requirement of front and side underride guards, as well as improved rear guard requirements in its testimony to US House Committee on Energy and Commerce. file:///C:/Users/LD46500/Downloads/testimony_2009-05-18.pdf

2009 Patent filed for a Side impact guard device for industrial vehicles, particularly trailers or semi-trailers”

US7967349 Apr 7, 2009 Jun 28, 2011 C.R.F. Societa Consortile Per Azioni Side impact guard device for industrial vehicles, particularly trailers or semi-trailers

 

2010 An evaluation of U.S. rear underride guards meeting federal requirements shows that these protections still allow for severe passenger vehicle underride, often resulting in serious or fatal injury. file:///C:/Users/LD46500/Downloads/22esv-000074.pdf

2011 IIHS crash test study demonstrates that federal underride safety standards can fail in relatively low-speed crashes.http://www.iihs.org/iihs/sr/statusreport/article/46/2/1

2012 Sapa Extrusions (inventor/engineer Malcolm Deighton) filed for a patent in 2012 for a Semi trailer under-run protection device” which they later developed into a rear underride guard which was successfully crash tested on a trailer in April 2017. https://www.google.com/patents/USD703106

2013 New crash test study shows how underride guards on most heavy trucks fail to prevent underride and result in serious injury or fatality.http://www.iihs.org/iihs/news/desktopnews/new-crash-tests-underride-guards-on-most-big-rigs-leave-passenger-vehicle-occupants-at-risk-in-certain-crashes

2015 NTSB recommends that regulators develop performance standards for side and front underride protection systems to improve highway vehicle crash compatibility with passenger vehicles. https://www.ntsb.gov/safety/mwl/Pages/mwl9_2015.aspx  

2015 Aaron Kiefer, crash reconstructionist and forensic engineer, was issued a patent for an innovative combination side & rear trailer underride protection system: https://www.google.com/patents/US9463759 Please see the numerous underride patents referred to in this patent.

2015 This patent for a Trailer rear impact guard cites numerous other underride protection patents: https://www.google.com/patents/USD790407

2016 NHTSA issued a grant to Texas A & M Transportation Institute for computer modeling research on side underride protection. http://www.wusa9.com/news/investigations/truck-trailer-rear-guard-rules-have-huge-holes-safety-experts-say/457353893

2017 IIHS tests side underride guards at 35 mph, and illustrates the dramatic impact side guards have in preventing serious injury and death. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/news/desktopnews/iihs-tests-show-benefits-of-side-underride-guards-for-semitrailers

2017 Seven Hills Engineering, Perry Ponder inventor of Angel Wing Underride Protection successfully crash tested at 35 MPH by IIHS on 3/30/2017 and 40 MPH on 8/29/2017. Patent Pending  http://www.7he.us and http://airflowdeflector.com/airflow-2/

2017 Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety urges DOT to put forth a federal mandate on side underride guards. http://saferoads.org/2017/05/10/advocates-statement-on-need-for-strong-truck-side-underride-guards/

2017 NBC Today Show Link/Story https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/side-underride-crashes-kill-200-people-year-will-congress-act-n711721

2017 DOE has issued grants for a Super Truck project which has included side skirts for fuel efficiency but not for safety. http://annaleahmary.com/2017/02/perfect-opportunity-to-transform-supertruck-into-an-esv-to-advance-underride-protection-dot-doe/

Exposing the Truth about the Truck Underride Conspiracy of Silence

You cannot begin to imagine the riotous cacophony of emotions ricocheting about within this mother’s heart right now. Pain. Grief. Anger. Frustration. Outrage. Heartache.

These last few days, Lois and I have been on a journey together which has taken unexpected turns. After driving cross-country with my son to help him get settled in his new home in Santa Cruz, l took a red-eye flight to Chicago where Lois picked me up from the O’Hare airport.

Our original plan was to get on the highway and head for a cottage in Michigan. But it seemed good to us both to take this opportunity for Lois to give me a glimpse of her daughter Roya — the house where she grew up, a favorite restaurant, a school and church, her grandpa and the home he built, and finally her final resting place here on this earth.

It was a very good and a very hard thing for the two of us to do. And then we headed for my old stomping grounds.

We had made plans to spend a few days at a cottage on Lake Michigan where Jerry and I have created many memories. He and I discovered it one year on a getaway and thereafter brought our kids for many fun family times. It was also where we stayed with our nine children and their families when we returned North for my 90 year-old dad’s funeral in 2011. Twelve year-old Mary took over 600 photos on her hand-me-down camera that trip.

Perhaps you can imagine what it was like to arrive at a place so full of wonderful memories of AnnaLeah and Mary. Bittersweet. Heart-wrenching.

We enjoyed a beautiful sunset over the Lake that evening and contemplated our next steps in getting the Roya, AnnaLeah and Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act of 2017 introduced and passed as we tended a marvelous beach campfire.

The next morning, after sighting a rainbow on the Lake’s horizon, we set out for a local bagel shop to take advantage of their Wi-Fi. It was time to get down to business and compile a list of underride research which has been done over the years.

We had previously put together a list of underride recommendations and reports for the senator who intends to introduce the bill. Now we were responding to a request from her staff to add any additional underride research which we could find so that they could share it with Republican Offices in hopes of persuading them to jump on board with her in leading the way with this life-preserving legislation.

History of Underride Research & Reports: 1896 to 2017

In summary, this legislation is so vitally important because — all too often — it is not the collision of a car with a truck which is responsible for an ensuing tragedy but the lack of adequate underride protection. This results in a second collision where the truck collides with the passengers in the car and what is known as Passenger Compartment Intrusion (PCI) which occurs with truck underride.

The day before, we had updated Jerry and asked him to look for underride patents online. I knew of a couple in particular which we had already discovered in our unwelcome truck safety advocacy journey. What he then uncovered was beyond belief.

Jerry sent us a link to a U.S. patent for a side underride device invented in 1913. What?! That was before my 90 year-old father, who has been gone for six years, was born. Over a century ago!

But that’s not all! That patent from 1913 has been cited by 26 more recent patents — ones filed by engineers working on their own ideas for solving the problem of defective truck design which allows pedestrians, cyclists, motorcycles, and passenger vehicles to ride under the side of commercial motor vehicles. Unbelievable!

As if that were not enough to cause outrage to well up, we made another discovery as we began work on updating the research list. Jerry had also sent a link to an 1896 patent for a side underride device for streetcars. Again, this patent has been cited by numerous other patents for underride protection.

In the end, we were able to compile an extensive list of underride research, reports, and recommendations on front, side, and rear underride which provides incriminating evidence of an apparent conspiracy of silence. The negligence on the part of the trucking industry and the federal government to take the initiative to do whatever is necessary in order to protect the citizens of this country from a known deadly defect is appalling.

They can no longer cling to an excuse of ignorance. They have had more than enough time to put their heads together and come up with viable solutions.

The blood of countless underride victims has been unnecessarily shed. Our precious daughters have paid the price.

Whereas it is clear that there have been many individuals who have put forth effort to solve the underride problem, the overall inaction, on the part of the industry and government, and their refusal to take responsibility for effective collaboration to find a solution has taken its toll on American families. When will this behind-closed-doors conspiracy of silence end? Very soon, I hope! In fact, we have seen significant progress in recent years — although too little and too late to save our daughters.

I know that tomorrow, as Lois and I visit the cemetery where AnnaLeah and Mary saw their grandpa buried less than two years before we buried them close by, l will weep bitter tears. I only hope that our combined efforts will be fruitful and turn the tide.

I have often shared a photo of AnnaLeah and Mary with their arms raised in joyous victory. Yesterday, l was able, for the first time, to visit the luge victors’ stand in Muskegon State Park’s winter sports complex where that photo was taken. It broke my heart to see it empty and know that they will never be able to stand there again.

I look forward to the day when I can share their victory photo once more with the world because a step will have been taken to end this travesty once and for all. Mary will get her wish to be famous somehow.

May it be so. To God be the glory for orchestrating this difficult and long-time-in-coming strategy to end preventable underride tragedies.

How you can help:

http://annaleahmary.com/how-you-can-help/

In underride, first point of contact with the truck is your windshield, then your head.

Just yesterday, as Isaac and I were nearing the end of our road trip from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific coast, Isaac said, “Maybe next time we make this trip, the trucks will look different and be a whole lot safer.”
 
I am very grateful that we are seeing significant progress in underride protection. And the gathering of almost 100 people at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety on August 29 has helped to continue the work of many people to make that possible.
 
Dawn King, president of the Truck Safety Coalition, with photos and video, describes the recent Underride Roundtable at the IIHS and why it was so important. Because a truck underride crash can happen to anyone. To AnnaLeah & Mary. To you or somebody you care about.
 
As Dawn explained,
“When you slide under a trailer your car’s safety features aren’t activated because your front bumper doesn’t hit anything. The first part of your car to come in contact with the trailer is your windshield. And then your head.”
 
“Someday soon the results of lots of peoples dreams will come to fruition. And it will happen because people from all walks of life sat down and talked. Trailer manufacturers, truck companies, safety experts, devastated families, government officials.”
 
Just what I’ve been hoping for:
 
After our crash, Jerry wrote to numerous trailer manufacturing companies asking them to voluntarily step up their underride guard standards. We got some positive response and stirred up interest in companies — to whom he also wrote — who purchase trailers–enlightening them as well. One of the manufacturers, Great Dane, invited us to tour their Research & Design Center on June 25, 2014.
 
Afterwards, I posted this: Underride Guards: Can we “sit down at the table together” and work this out? with this video: “Underride Guards: Now What?” to summarize what I saw as the frustrating lack of progress on improving underride guards and the seeming lack of communication among the various responsible parties with the authority to do something about it.
 
Of course, we weren’t the only ones frustrated with the inaction on what seems to be a drastically-needed change. When we took our 11,000+ signed petitions to DC in May 2014, we met with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). At that time, they put it like this: “It is safer to run into a brick wall than into the back of a truck.” Yet, seemingly, nothing was being done about it. So we helped to organize the first and then the second Underride Roundtable.
 
Now something is being done about it.
 
We don’t have to let this continue to happen. We can do something to prevent deadly truck underride crashes. I’ve put together some ways that YOU, too, can help make trucks safer: http://annaleahmary.com/how-you-can-help/
 
See more video and media coverage here: Media Coverage of the Second Underride Roundtable

“Fatal Jeep Crash Renews Criticism of Recall Fix to Prevent Fires”

A woman died this week when her Jeep SUV was rear ended while stopped at a traffic light.

Fuel from the Jeep then caught fire. . .

The driver of the Buick was cited for suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol but those charges have since been dropped, he said.

Hammonds also said investigators suspect excessive speed to be involved but declined to estimate how fast the other driver was going at the time of the crash citing the early stages of the investigation.

After Fiat Chrysler agreed to recall the Jeeps, NHTSA closed its investigation in November of 2014. It concluded in a memo at the time that the trailer hitch provided “incremental safety benefits in certain low and moderate speed crash incidents, Fatal Jeep Crash Renews Criticism of Recall Fix to Prevent Fires” while also noting that the repair “will not necessarily be effective in the most severe crashes.”

Is this another example of a person whose life would have been spared had those with responsibility to act not been negligent? When will we understand that we hold the power of life & death in our hands?

Media Coverage of the Second Underride Roundtable

The Second Underride Roundtable was held at the IIHS Vehicle Research Center in Ruckersville, Virginia, on August 29, 2017. Read media reports of this successful gathering of various stakeholders to work together to improve comprehensive underride protection:

  1. Insurance Institute Conducts Successful Test of Side Underguard Protection http://www.ttnews.com/articles/insurance-institute-conducts-sucessful-test-side-underguard-protection 
  2.  Side guard on semitrailer prevents underride in 40 mph test http://www.iihs.org/iihs/news/desktopnews/side-guard-on-semitrailer-prevents-underride-in-40-mph-test
  3. Advocates for Truck Safety Hold Underride Roundtable and Crash Test at IIHS http://www.nbc29.com/story/36245364/advocates-for-truck-safety-hold-underride-roundtable-and-crash-test-at-iihs
  4. Grieving parents break down after crash test shows life-saving technology http://www.wusa9.com/news/investigations/underrides/grieving-parents-break-down-after-crash-test-shows-technology-that-could-have-saved-their-kids/469019354
  5. “Hall of Crashes” may hold the key to safer cars and roads  http://www.wusa9.com/news/investigations/underrides/hall-of-crashes-may-hold-the-key-to-safer-cars-and-roads/466377388
  6. Once again, Eric Flack and WUSA 9 continued an in-depth investigation of the truck underride problem & solution with insight, energy, & intent. Facebook Live at the Roundtable Crash Test:  https://www.facebook.com/marianne.karth/posts/10214194153315951

How You Can Help Us Get Comprehensive Underride Protection On Trucks

I know that I can’t be the only person in this country (or the planet for that matter) who would like to see trucks made safer to drive around. So, for anyone else who would like to help get comprehensive underride protection on trucks in the U.S., here are some ideas:  http://annaleahmary.com/how-you-can-help/

 

Heading for the Second Underride Roundtable Now: Good Things Sure To Happen As A Result!

Heading to IIHS in Ruckersville, Virginia, for the Second Underride Roundatable We will be working together to save lives. For sure!

See a side guard installed on a truck: “It’s What’s Behind the Skirt that Saves Lives™”

Andy Young, attorney and CDL-holder, narrates this video in which an Angel Wing side guard system is installed on a tractor-trailer. He explains in detail why a side guard is so important and how it can save lives.

Take a behind the scenes look at an installation of AngelWing, AirFlow Deflector’s Side Underride Protection Device. Narrated by Andy Young, follow him as he explains what is the problem and what can be done to save lives. It’s What’s Behind the Skirt that Saves Lives™.

Thanks, Andy!

Together we are making the roads safer!

Applying AI & Procedural Generation to Traffic Safety #ProceduralGeneration #AI #trafficsafety

Each part of my life is somehow interwoven with the others. Today our oldest son, Isaac Karth, is on his way to give a presentation on a paper which he wrote:  WaveFunctionCollapse is Constraint Solving in the Wild .

He also writes a blog on Procedural Generation: http://procedural-generation.tumblr.com/ .  “In computing, procedural generation is a method of creating data algorithmically as opposed to manually. In computer graphics, it is also called random generation and is commonly used to create textures and 3D models. In video games, it is used to automatically create large amounts of content in a game.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procedural_generation ) And in a few weeks he will start on his PhD in Computational Media. So why am I writing about that here?

  1. Last night, he gave us a sneak preview of his presentation. While very informative, it is such an involved topic and one I don’t work with directly. So I had to concentrate hard to grasp what he was saying, but it gave me ideas about things which do impact me more directly.
  2. He also shared an Abstract he is writing for another paper/presentation. The gist of it is that World Building with ideas, which can then be used to tell stories, can also be created by Generators through the Procedural Generation process (okay, don’t count on my description of it).
  3. What that made me think of was AnnaLeah’s colorful “worlds” of characters (names and their relationships) which she created in her mind and on paper — fully intending to use them to tell stories. [I wrote about that on October 17, 2013 — a few months after the crash: The Apple of His Eye.] She never had a chance to take it any further. Maybe procedural generation could capture a glimpse of the possibilities of what she might have unfolded for us to enjoy. [Unrealized Potential ]
  4. One of the things which Isaac wants to leave with his audience of researchers is the idea that they can benefit from paying attention to how others out there in the Procedural Generation world are coming up with new ideas for tools to execute procedural generation projects and ways to apply them.

Again, why am I writing about that here?

  1. I’d like to know how procedural generation tools might be made use of to further the mandate, research & design, and installation of comprehensive underride protection.
  2. I’d also like to know how it could be put to effective use in other areas of traffic safety — e.g., to bring about a paradigm shift in how the trucking industry utilizes and protects the well-being of truck drivers , while at the same time improving the safety of other road users. Win/Win.
  3. Finally, I’d like to know how procedural generation could be put to use to create an elaborate interactive personal crash story map, as well as an interactive personal traffic safety risk digital tool to raise awareness, educate, and mobilize citizens to be part of the solution to end preventable vehicle violence. [And it could then become a required part of every driver training course, driver license testing {how much better than memorizing blood alcohol levels or points on your record} and of every application for car insurance — with periodic updates before getting your license or insurance renewed. Well, why not?]

Let’s do what we can to make the system safer — including developing and utilizing crash avoidance technologies to reduce the possibility of crashes happening. But let’s not leave the human nature of the driver totally out of the picture. Let’s keep working to make sure that drivers stay engaged in the highly-complex process of driving vehicles (especially large trucks) — not less so!

Let’s figure out what can be done to make that happen  — a matter of both personal and societal responsibility.

And don’t forget: Continue to make the vehicles more crashworthy — so that when crashes do occur, they will be more survivable!

“The longer Congress waits, the more people will die.” Next segment in @WUSA9 underride series.

Next episode in the WUSA 9 truck underride series by Eric Flack aired last night.

“The longer Congress waits, the more people will die. That’s the position of a leading auto safety group calling for new regulations on tractor trailers.”