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. Important Follow-up to the Underride Roundtable, June 24 at IIHS: The Work Continues
  2. To read posts which I wrote as a follow-up to the Underride Roundtable, go here:  Underride Roundtable Follow-up Posts
  3. 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). . .
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. “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:
  8. 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. . .
  9. 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. . .
  10. 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. . .
  11. What is justice as it relates to traffic safety? Here is a timely article by Ralph Nader on the topic of Justice. . . 
  12. 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. . .
  13. A second round of side guard crash tests: Just got home from the latest side guard crash test. Watch it here!
  14. 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. . .
  15. 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. . .


Entrepreneurial kick-starter effort by fire rescue workers to extricate crash victims faster & safer

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Please see this entrepreneurial effort to save lives.  Inventors Paul and David Smart are experienced fire rescue workers who have patented a system to provide fire fighters with information in real time to help extricate crash victims faster and safer.  This is a technology that is needed all across the U.S.A. today.

They ask:

“I’m writing to announce the launch of our Kickstarter page today. If we’re successful, we’ll raise 15K to have Chop Dawg Studios ( create the demonstration prototype of our program that potential investors have been asking to see.

This will be a HUGE step towards helping us to help rescuers do their jobs and save more lives of crash victims. Here is the page:
Would you please share, forward, visit, post on FB, Twitter, etc. to help us get the word out? We need all the help we can get to raise 15K July 23rd. If we fall short, we get nothing. If we meet our goal, we could have our tech in recuers’ hands by the end of the year.”

If auto companies had hearts, they would be racing to help develop and deploy this technology.

National Trauma Care System: Integrating Military and Civilian Trauma Systems to Achieve Zero Preventable Deaths After Injury

There are many avenues to reducing the deaths and serious injuries from crashes. One of them is to improve the care of the victims in the aftermath of crashes. That is what this strategy aims to do.

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

A new Report on Trauma Care is out that calls for a Vision Zero for Preventable Deaths. 

A National Trauma Care System:

Integrating Military and Civilian Trauma Systems to Achieve Zero Preventable Deaths After Injury

See Infographic at

There is a lot to like in this report.  See the Recommendations at

I like that the Report calls on the White House, the DOD, and the DHHS to get involved

See some of my previous thoughts on this that NHTSA ignored at the cost of countless preventable tragedies at:

and at:

and at:

A Google Drive link to the full Report is attached.


photo of Good Samaritan Hospital GreensboroVision Zero Petition Book Cover

Visual Rulemaking Law Review Article and Deadly Underride Discussion June 24 at IIHS

Pray for an important meeting on Friday at IIHS in Arlington, VA. We will be discussing details for underride regulations and hearing a presentation from an Australian on their proposed underride rule.

Also, here is a draft of the “Visualizing Rulemaking” law review article (to be published in the fall). See pp. 43-44 and 65 for reference to AnnaLeah & Mary and our safety advocacy efforts.

Minolta DSCMinolta DSCIf only

“Critics Say Underride Fix Will Do Little to Curb Deadly Hazard” As controversy continues, so do deaths.’s reporter, Paul Feldman, reports on the deadly underride problem and the controversy over how to solve it:

Critics Say Underride Fix Will Do Little to Curb Deadly Hazard by Paul Feldman, June 23, 2016

Meanwhile, as the discussion continues, people all over the world die every day because their vehicle is not prevented from riding under a truck. Just like AnnaLeah. Just like Mary.

If onlyNegotiated Rulemaking

There will be a meeting on June 24, at IIHS in Arlington, VA, with some of the participants from the Underride Roundtable, attempting to hammer out a better solution.




“Anton Yelchin’s Death Highlights a Known Issue With Jeeps”. . . NY Times & Care for Crash Victims

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

An excellent article in the NY Times reports:

“The death of the actor Anton Yelchin, killed when his Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled backward down a driveway and crushed him against a mailbox pillar last weekend, has cast a public spotlight on a problem with some models of Jeeps and other Fiat Chrysler vehicles.

But for the company, there is nothing new about the issue — which federal regulators first flagged last August.

The question is why, nearly a year later, Fiat Chrysler has still not come up with a fix for the problem, which has now been linked to hundreds of accidents, dozens of injuries and now — potentially — a well-publicized death.

The company, which issued a recall notice on more than one million affected vehicles in April, will say only it is still working on a solution, there was no decision about a recall until this year and there has been no delay. It has written to federal regulators that the remedy will include a software change and “an additional mechanism to mitigate the effect of operator error.”

That solution is expected no later than July or August, a Fiat Chrysler spokesman, Eric Mayne, said on Tuesday in an email.

And yet, as far back as March, Fiat Chrysler was telling federal investigators that it already had “potential solutions.”

The problem involves an electronic gearshift, whose operation is similar to that of a video-game joystick. It has confused many drivers, who thought they had left their cars in park, only to find they were in neutral, and started rolling away after the drivers stepped out.

Rollaway accidents are particularly dangerous, and the investigation and recall are taking too long, Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, a consumer advocacy group, said on Tuesday.

“There was no sense of urgency on Chrysler’s part or N.H.T.S.A.’s part given the potential for death or injury,” he said in an interview, referring to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.”  See

The cozy connections of NHTSA and Fiat Chrysler continue to raise questions about the effectiveness of NHTSA in protecting people.  See



President Obama

What would I do if I were the National Traffic Safety Ombudsman?

Actor’s Death is Latest Example of Need for a National Vision Zero Goal & Traffic Safety Ombudsman

The recent death due to an auto safety defect is just the latest and most visible of the millions of reasons why we need to make Traffic Safety a National Priority!

Millions of good reasons to adopt a National Vision Zero Goal & Appoint a Traffic Safety Ombudsman

What are we waiting for, America?!

From Lou Lombardo, Care for Crash Victims:

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:
The Center for Auto Safety issues release on latest Jeep fatality.

June 20, 2016

Actor’s Death is Latest Example of Inadequate Recall Response; CAS Lays Out Action Plan for Chrysler to Prevent Further Deaths and Injuries due to Transmission Defect

Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin was killed June 18 when his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee pinned him against his mailbox in a rollaway incident.  Yelchin’s death is unfortunately the latest example of industry and government incompetence in the face of vehicle safety defects.

On April 22, 2016, Chrysler issued a recall of 2014-2015 Grand Cherokees, as well as 2012-14 Chrysler 300s and Dodge Chargers, in order to add an additional part to enhance the Jeeps’ monostable gear selector.  The design of the monostable gear selector has been the source of much confusion for Chrysler owners, resulting in hundreds of rollaway incidents reported to both Chrysler and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).   Chrysler notes in its chronology that as of April 12, 2016 “FCA US has identified approximately 700 field reports potentially related to this issue which includes 212 crashes, 308 claims of property damage and 41 injuries.”

The vehicles involved had been under investigation by NHTSA since August 20, 2015, when the agency opened PE15-030.  When NHTSA upgraded the investigation to EA16-002 on February 3, 2016, the agency noted 121 crashes and 30 injury incidents in its opening memo.

Despite a clear defect affecting hundreds of owners with injury and potential death, Chrysler issued a Part 577 interim notification letter to owners promising to develop a fix by the 4th quarter of 2016. Just how quickly this fix would be available to owners is unknown, and given Chrysler’s recent recall efforts in fire-prone Jeeps, owners would be potentially subject to lengthy delays when seeking a remedy.

In a letter to Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, CAS Executive Director wrote:
The Center for Auto Safety calls on Chrysler to:
· Notify owners not to drive these vehicles until repaired under the safety recall.
· Provide free loaner or rental cars of comparable value to all owners until the vehicles are repaired under the safety recall.
· For owners who cannot wait until a recall repair is available, buy the recalled vehicles by at original purchase or lease cost with deduction for use as is done under state lemon laws where the defect exists on the day the vehicle was bought.
· Provide a detailed public timeline within 10 days of what is being done to make a recall remedy available, when parts will be available for all vehicles and who is doing the engineering for the recall.
· Sergio Marchionne should publicly go and apologize to the family of Anton Yelchin.

#     #     #

CAS Letter to Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne

CAS Letter to NHTSA Administrator Rosekind

16V-240 Part 573

16V-240 Amended Part 573

16V-240 Amended Part 573 Chronology

16V-240 Part 577

PE15-030 Closing Resume

Redacted Chrysler PowerPoint Presentation to NHTSA

EA16-002 Opening Resume

Chrysler Consent Agreement with NHTSA on Recall Performance

Anton Yelchin Death: Jeep Grand Cherokees Were Recalled for Rollaway Risk – 6/19/16

CAS FOIA: Missing Chrysler PE15-030 Documents

CAS FOIA: Missing Chrysler EA16-002 Documents

List of Chrysler Transmission Rollaway Recalls


Clarence Ditlow

Executive Director

Center for Auto Safety

1825 Connecticut Ave NW #330

Washington DC 20009

11wjd2National Vision Zero GoalLetter of Support for ALMFTS Vision Zero Petition

Cover of Car Safety Wars by Michael Lemov
Cover of Car Safety Wars by Michael Lemov

Ombudsman for Traffic Safety


Piecing Together Bittersweet Memories

I’m getting very close to finishing my second quilt from squares of AnnaLeah’s and Mary’s clothes. I am looking forward to seeing it all done and being able to use it and the good memories it will hold. But then it will be done and what will I do that will give me that same catharsis?
I looked at it today and thought about how beautiful it will be when all the individual pieces come together and wished that there was not a reason to create such beauty.
Quilt and Father's Day 010 Quilt and Father's Day 012 Quilt and Father's Day 014 Quilt and Father's Day 008 Quilt and Father's Day 006 Quilt and Father's Day 004 Squares laid outCandelaria 3
AnnaLeah on a mission trip in Candelaria.
Candelaria 1 Candelaria 2

“We need an end to both gun violence and vehicle violence. ” — Lou Lombardo

From Lou Lombardo:

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:


We need an end to both gun violence and vehicle violence.

Gun Violence Statistics

Brady Campaign reports:

Every Day on Average (all ages)

Every day, 297 people in America are shot in murders, assaults, suicides & suicide attempts, unintentional shootings, and police intervention.

Every day, 89 people die from gun violence: 

  • 31 are murdered
  • 55 kill themselves
  • 2 are killed unintentionally
  • 1 is killed by police intervention
  • 1 intent unknown.

Every day, 208 people are shot and survive:

  • 151 shot in an assault
  • 10 survive a suicide attempt
  • 45 are shot unintentionally
  • 2 are shot in a police intervention



Vehicle Violence Statistics


Every average day nearly 100 people in America die from vehicle violence.

Every average day nearly 400 people in America suffer serious injuries from vehicle violence.

Every average day nearly $2 Billion in losses result from vehicle violence in America.



President Obama’s Views Concern Crash Victims


Crash victims seek reasonable and doable actions by the President such as setting a national Vision Zero Goal.  See
President Obama’s Fathers Day Message:

“Like all dads, I worry about my girls’ safety all the time.  Especially when we see preventable violence in places our sons and daughters go every day – their schools and houses of worship, movie theaters, nightclubs, as they get older.”



So why does the President, that I voted for twice, continue to miss talking about vehicle violence after nearly 250,000 vehicle deaths and 1 million serious vehicle injuries under his administration?


We need an end to this strange indifference to vehicle violence.


We can and must do better than this.
Ombudsman for Traffic Safety

UN Regulation (No. 58) on rear underrun protection

Underride regulations from the UN, Number 58:

E/ECE/324 E/ECE/TRANS/505 } Rev.1/Add.57/Rev.2 Regulation No. 58 page 3 Regulation No. 58 UNIFORM PROVISIONS CONCERNING THE APPROVAL OF:





This will take some careful review to understand the relevance and significance of this United Nations underride regulation.

This is what John Creamer told me today:

There is a UN Regulation (No. 58) on rear underrun protection.  In fact, a German-sponsored amendment to increase the stringency of this regulation (the 03 series of amendments) entered into force today, having been adopted by WP.29 last November.  The new requirements become mandatory starting from September 2019. 

However, UN R58 is a type approval regulation not applicable under the US system.  For a regulation to be established that could apply outside the type approval world, a signatory to the 1998 Agreement would have to propose working on one.  In principle, the United States could make such a proposal to WP.29.

Negotiated Rulemaking

The Father’s-Day-Pain From a Loss That Could Have Been Prevented

I still have difficult moments periodically when I beg God to make it not be true — because how can it be that AnnaLeah and Mary are really and true not alive anymore?

If onlyIMG_4465

12d Christmas 2012 Rocky Mount 065
Jerry and 3 of his daughters, Christmas 2012
Cat and flowers 008
Jerry, Father’s Day 2016


Dawn King, a friend-because-she-also-lost-a-loved-one-to-a-truck-crash, wrote about the hard time she has had with Father’s Day this year. She wrote about her dad,

I should be able to give him a call, send him a card, even go for a visit. A couple weeks ago I did an interview and at the end the reporter asked me to send her pictures of me and dad. I realized I didn’t really have any of him and me together, just the two of us. I thought to myself that I should get a few taken next time I was home.

And then I remembered. Again. I have to keep remembering over and over and it’s just as painful each time. Nothing left to add this Father’s Day

Dawn was interviewed for this video while at a Truck Safety Coalition conference in May 2013 (while our crash took place):