Monthly Archives: October 2015

The latest Public Comments on the ANPRM for Underride Protection of Single Unit Trucks

Here are new comments posted on the Federal Register for

ANPRM for Underride Protection of Single Unit Trucks

See attached file(s) 
View Comment

Submitter Name: Lackore, Roger
Posted: 10/20/2015
ID: NHTSA-2015-0070-0062
Not sure how this is going to prevent people from driving into the rear of a truck… Maybe more money should be spent on educating drivers when they get their…
View Comment

Submitter Name: Anonymous
Posted: 10/08/2015
ID: NHTSA-2015-0070-0061
Re: Conspicuity Rules. When the rules for class 8 vehicles were implemented, I operated a private fleet operating, primarily, east of the Mississippi river…
View Comment

Submitter Name: Schafer, Robert
Posted: 10/08/2015
ID: NHTSA-2015-0070-0058
As a long-time transportation industry professional, it is my opinion that CMVs should not be exempt from “bumper height” or any other safety regulations. The…
View Comment

Submitter Name: Gislason, John
Posted: 10/08/2015
ID: NHTSA-2015-0070-0060
I am not apposed to putting on reflective tape on the side rails or boxes of straight trucks, but as for the rear guard what is going to be the rule for…
View Comment

Submitter Name: Johnson, Paul
Posted: 10/08/2015
ID: NHTSA-2015-0070-0059

http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;dct=FR+PR+N+O+SR;rpp=10;po=0;D=NHTSA-2015-0070

What is an acceptable number of crash deaths?

After a productive day of truck safety advocacy meetings in DC, I am still bothered by the unspoken question: what is an acceptable number of crash deaths? How would you answer that question?

Towards Zero: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RkfbZgm3Ek

Vision Zero Petition: http://tinyurl.com/nhb88cq ‪#‎VisionZero‬

IMG_9647

Rear-ending a truck should be a survivable crash. Why isn’t it?

I survived a truck underride crash. My daughters did not. Why not? Because we were sent backward into the back of the truck and AnnaLeah and Mary were in the backseat. The weak and ineffective underride guard gave way and the back of the truck broke their bodies.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has shown through crash testing that the current federal standards for underride guards are not strong enough to withstand most crashes but that it is possible to make stronger ones.  http://www.iihs.org/externaldata/srdata/docs/sr4907.pdf

We are promoting underride research https://www.fortrucksafety.com/ and organizing a national Underride Roundtable ALMFTS Underride Guard Research Brochure.

We have also launched a Vision Zero Petition online because we believe that, unless rulemaking policy changes, when the rubber meets the road Saving Lives will not be the criteria used for making highway safety regulations as effective as humanly possible.Unnecessary compromise will occur and preventable deaths will be the result. Profit will win out over the best possible protection.

We know that rear-ending a truck should be a survivable crash and we are devoting our lives to making it a reality.

Sign & share our Vision Zero Petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/417/742/234/save-lives-not-dollars-urge-dot-to-adopt-vision-zero-policy/

Read more here: http://annaleahmary.com/tag/vision-zero/ and http://annaleahmary.com/underride-guards/

Underride Research Meme

Insightful Commentary on the State of Trucking Minimum Liability Insurance by a victim’s family member

Minimum Insurance infographic

What do you think about the tug of war over trucking minimum liability insurance? Should it or should it not be raised after 35 years? Before you decide, read this commentary by a family member of a truck crash victim (Michelle Novak):

Michelle Novak 🙁https://www.facebook.com/groups/494507530713925/permalink/548460131985331/)

“Not one single penny increase. It’s “purchasing power” is almost zero, and this is money that has to be disbursed among survivors of wrecks, whether one or thirty—they split the $750,000… After lawyer fees, first in line are the—get this—insurance company lawyers! They get free taken out of this survival money for victims, for emergency room lifesaving, surgeries, helicopter flights, ambulances, ICU, etc…even though those same lawyers are paid by the insurance company. They don’t shop around to find a lawyer who will handle passing out the money. These are lawyers who are part of these gigantic insurance behemoth. And after all the first responders line up for their cut to cover….responding to a truck crash, repairing roads and guardrail, hazmat responses, putting out fires, using the jaws of life to extract victims, police presence, etc…,

“Now. Imagine 15 victims, fine fatalities and ten injuries, nine damaged vehicles, on top of all this. Victims were airlifted, all were treated, and one needed heroic efforts and now a lifetime of care, has become disabled. ..there is so much in one complex wreck, it works be almost impossible to calculate cost. Doesn’t matter. Can’t sue the insurance company for knowingly covering a driver with a ten-year history of lawbreaking with his truck, leading to this crash. Can’t sue the govt agencies that simply didn’t bother dreaming with him and enforcing the laws it is tasked with enforcing. And the company is a one-truck operation that files for bankruptcy the day after the crash.

“$750,000 ….minus all those players. That is, of course actually nothing, which is why victims end up with medical liens placed on everything they own or ever might own, and are in debt the rest of their lives, on top of the injury, the death of their loved ones.

“Now Imagine your killed loved one wasn’t actually moving when the wreck happened. He wasn’t even allowed to move. An accident up ahead. Traffic stopped. Ever other citizen duly stopped, as required by law.except the sound asleep truck driver with the forged medical certificate, the black-market purchased commercial license, the falsified log books, the fact that though he was exhausted, he drove right by the last truck rest s stop only a mile or so before he plowed right into that liner of stopped cars, ripping apart five human beings as he went.

“$750,000 in an industry that capitalizes on carrying insurance from over thirty years ago, with insurers who are shielded from civil suit, which means they don’t have any responsibility for knowingly, or not even bothering to find out, if the drivers they profit off of are horrible risks or not. And why should they? The most they could possibly lose,no matter how many laws the driver broke, no matter how habitual a lawbreakers the driver is, and no matter how many lives he destroys, is $750,000…

“How fantastic to be in a risk-based industry, covering bets on risk, and not even needing the actual insurance model to guarantee profit. How great to be able to figure your maximum costs based on the number of drivers insured, knowing that you’ll never be dragged into court, never be called to answer for insuring lousy drivers along with good…..how profitable to be able to charge those drivers more based on risk, without ever having to pass that magic, chiseled-into-stone level of $750,000…that is a custom-made giant profit machine, if ever there was one.

“If anyone else happens to read this…..if you haven’t had to experience this reality yet personally, please do your best to picture it. It can be your reality in the blink of an eye: your never-ending injustice that you get to live every day, knowing that these insurance execs, CEO s, shareholders, all walk away oblivious to what this setup, that they don’t mind spending good lobbying money on, does to not only its victims, but the entire society of taxpayers who must pick up the costs for every one of the parties listed earlier, because the cost has to be paid.

“There are ways to raise this to appropriate levels, while still spreading out cost among drivers and those very rich insurance companies, and the very rich gigantic retail, warehousing and shipping firms that make constant use of their trucks.

“We’ll get a plan hammered out, at some point. And then we’ll push it until the entire industry shares the costs of risk. When they finally all share it, you’ll be amazed at how quickly they straighten all this out…and these nightmares will stop.

“They don’t do anything out of kindness, citizenship duties, or any altruism. You have to make it hurt their only source of feeling: the gigantic pile of wealth they amass at the expense of their victims.”

Chuck Novak’s crash: http://www.truckaccidentlaw.org/blog/3363/driver-faces-multiple-charges-in-deadly-north-carolina-truck-accident/ &  http://www.blueridgenow.com/article/20101027/articles/101029886

Read more posts on this topic:  http://annaleahmary.com/tag/minimum-liability-insurance/

Why are we devoting our lives to pushing for a DOT Vision Zero policy?

Why are we pushing so hard to get people to sign a Vision Zero petition? What difference would it make anyway? The reason we are devoting our lives to pounding on this door and asking for change is that our daughters may have lost their lives due to the lack of a Vision Zero policy.

A decision which concluded that recommended changes would not be cost effective — in other words, that it would supposedly cost more to implement safety measures than the lives saved would be worth — may have led to lax* underride guard standards. If the best possible protection had been pursued when the regulations were last updated (1996), the trucks on the road today (including the one on the road May 4, 2013) might be much safer to be driving around.

Mary and AnnaLeah might even still be around.

gertie 881AnnaLeah writing

Now what would you want for you and your family and your friends? That’s what I would like to know.

Rebekah photo of crash

*lax = not sufficiently strict, severe, or careful.  synonyms: slack, slipshod, negligent, remiss, careless, heedless, unmindul, slapdash, offhand, casual  http://tinyurl.com/qbodwjc

Sign & Share our Vision Zero Petitions:

  1. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/417/742/234/save-lives-not-dollars-urge-dot-to-adopt-vision-zero-policy/
  2. https://www.change.org/p/urge-obama-adopt-a-vision-zero-goal-and-sign-an-executive-order-to-save-lives-not-dollars

About This Petition

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death—about 40,000 people die in crashes each year. The Department of Transportation makes highway safety rules based upon how much safety measures will cost. We are hoping to change that and move toward a Vision Zero safety strategy model with goals of: Zero Deaths, Zero Serious Injuries, Zero Fear of Traffic.

“Towards Zero – There’s no one someone won’t miss.” https://youtu.be/bsyvrkEjoXI

Read more about Vision Zero: http://annaleahmary.com/tag/vision-zero/

Learn more about Underride Research: https://www.fortrucksafety.com/

Establishing a White House Task Force to Achieve a Vision Zero Goal of Crash Death Reduction

“Advocates Garnering Signatures” . . . almost 11,000 in 11 days!

“The latest efforts by a Rocky Mount family to improve trucking safety have garnered more than 9,000 signatures from around the world in just 10 days.

“’We want to get as many signatures as we can,’ said Marianne Karth, whose daughters AnnaLeah and Mary were killed in 2013 when the car Marianne Karth was driving was pushed underneath a tractor trailer. ‘We’d like to see it surpass the 11,000 signatures we got on our first petition and I think that is possible because this has a broader focus than just truck safety. It can positively impact all motor vehicle regulations.’”

Read about it here: https://www.rockymounttelegram.com/news/advocates-garnering-signatures-3009111

Scan of RMT article October 11 2015

 

“Advocates Garnering Signatures” front page story in Rocky Mount Telegram. Almost 11,000 signatures!

The Rocky Mount Telegram published an article on our Vision Zero Petition & Underride Research efforts. We are just short of 11,000 signatures (we got 11,545 on our first petition)!  https://www.rockymounttelegram.com/news/advocates-garnering-signatures-3009111

Please share this story with your local media. I have given you everything you need here to do so.  http://annaleahmary.com/2015/10/tools-for-getting-your-local-media-on-board-with-vision-zero-underride-research/

Please note: The article is on today’s front page. However, there was difficulty with non-subscriber access to the online article, so I am printing it here as well:

Advocates garnering signatures

By Brie Handgraaf

Staff Writer

The latest efforts by a Rocky Mount family to improve trucking safety has garnered more than 9,000 signatures from around the world in just 10 days.

“We want to get as many signatures as we can,” said Marianne Karth, whose daughters AnnaLeah and Mary were killed in 2013 when the car she was driving was pushed underneath a tractor trailer. “We’d like to see it surpass the 11,000 signatures we got on our first petition and I think that is possible because this has a broader focus than just truck safety. It can positively impact all motor vehicle regulations.”

The online petition through The Petition Site has three points: to change U.S. Department of Transportation regulations from being decided by cost-based analysis and factor in the cost of human lives as well as apply that Vision Zero safety strategy model by requiring underride guards based on crash test performance rather than force-based designs and initiate rulemaking to require collision avoidance and mitigation braking systems on all new large trucks and buses.

“We’re advocating for a paradigm shift,” said Jerry Karth, the father of AnnaLeah and Mary. “When Kennedy gave us the vision of going to the moon, he challenged a change as a nation and we met that challenge. This is the same in that it is challenging the status quo because we never want anyone to become a statistic yet that is what our present system does.”

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the U.S. secretary of transportation said in 1974 that deaths in cars that underride trucks would have to quadruple before underride protection would be considered cost beneficial. The Karths said that is unacceptable and in addition to gathering petition signatures to submit to the U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, they also have launched a new Website at https://www.fortrucksafety.com/ that is full of information about trucking safety and enables people to donate to the nonprofit organization, AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety, they started to help fund underride research.

“If everyone would just give $1 or $5 and shared it with others, we could support research into underride prevention systems and improved underride guards,” Marianne Karth said.

In addition to a group of engineering students at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, they are working with University of Alabama-Birmingham Engineer Dean Sicking, who created a system that helps save lives in Nascar and is developing similar barriers to prevent underride collisions. The funds raised also will help crash test the improved underride guards and submit those results to regulators and trucking companies for implementation.

“The problem is these accidents are costing lives and they are preventable,” Jerry Karth said. “This is a solvable problem and it will cost money, but the loss of human lives also has a cost.”

The Karths also are in contact with the Transport Accident Commission in Australia and their campaign, Towards Zero. In a one-minute video posted on YouTube, the TAC eloquently shows that no traffic deaths are acceptable and every effort should be made toward preventing all traffic fatalities.

“On average, 40,000 people die each year in crashes on our roads,” according to the petition to Foxx. “Our families cannot continue to sustain this unacceptably high number of losses and injuries. We urge you to take immediate action so that more lives will not be lost and to assure us that safety is your number one priority.”

Since the tragic deaths of the Karth sisters, the family has joined with other truck safety advocates to push through improved regulations. The Karths also are organizing an Underride Roundtable in the spring with engineers, government officials and other safety advocates to discuss ways to further truck safety.

“We knew this was going to be a long journey and each effort we pursue is one step in a long process,” Jerry Karth said. “We know what our goals are that we want to achieve, though, and until we get there, we’ll continue fighting for change.”

Marianne Karth said she balances her advocacy efforts with bittersweet memories of her beloved daughters through the Website: https://annaleahmary.com/. The couple’s other children also share in the fight for change, never forgetting the quiet and creative girls full of potential.

“It always gets back to those girls we lost that’ll never come back to us,” she said. “That loss is why we can pour ourselves into it and keep fighting for change, even when the going gets rough.

“With the petition, we can get others to be a part of making changes that will ultimately save people’s lives.”

Sign & Share our Vision Zero Petition:  http://www.thepetitionsite.com/417/742/234/save-lives-not-dollars-urge-dot-to-adopt-vision-zero-policy/

Support Underride Research: https://www.fortrucksafety.com/

“Towards Zero – There’s no one someone won’t miss.” https://youtu.be/bsyvrkEjoXI

Picture 667

“Advocates garnering signatures” Rocky Mount Reporter Tells Our Story

A local reporter from the Rocky Mount Telegram, Brie Handgraaf,  has followed our story ever since shortly after our truck crash in May 2013. We had been living in Rocky Mount for less than a year after moving here from West Texas. She has skillfully told the story of our girls, our crash, and our efforts to bring about change in highway safety.

Shortly after we launched our Vision Zero Petition, she interviewed Jerry and I again to find out the details of our second online petition–after having closely followed our first petition in 2014–as well as our efforts to promote improved underride guards through underride research.

Her article was just published online and, as usual, she did an excellent job of telling our story in a way that enlightens the reader:  https://www.rockymounttelegram.com/news/advocates-garnering-signatures-3009111

The newspaper is still working to make the article accessible online. Until then, you can read the article here: http://annaleahmary.com/2015/10/advocates-garnering-signatures-front-page-story-in-rocky-mount-telegram-almost-11000-signatures/

I want to clarify a few points so that there is no misunderstanding.

  • First of all, while the Secretary of Transportation in 1974 indicated that underride deaths would have to quadruple before underride protection would be considered cost-beneficial, the federal standards have been improved since that time. However, the problem is that it has been shown that the current standards, required as of 1998, are known to be weak and ineffective–resulting in many preventable underride deaths each year. Our concern is that the new rulemaking being considered now for the purpose of improving underride guards might likewise be judged to not be cost effective–as is hinted at in NHTSA’s preliminary Cost-Benefit Analysis in this document on Single Unit Trucks: “While not directly comparable, the preliminary estimates for rear impact guards on SUTs (minimum of $106.7 million per equivalent lives saved) is a strong indicator that these systems will not be cost effective (current VSL $9.2 million).”   https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/07/23/2015-17973/rear-impact-protection-lamps-reflective-devices-and-associated-equipment-single-unit-trucks
  • Secondly, although we have received a research proposal from Dean Sicking for the design and testing of an underride protection system, at this time he does not have the funding to do the research. So, unless we are able to raise the money for his underride research project, it will not be carried out and we will not be able to find out if his ideas could be more effective than the current underride guard standards and save lives.
  • Finally, we have been in contact with some people from Australia–although not specifically from the Transport Accident Commission which produced the “Toward Zero” Youtube video: https://youtu.be/bsyvrkEjoXI The people we have talked with are two research engineers from Australia, George Rechnitzer and Raphael Grzebieta, of the Transport and Road Safety (TARS) Research unit at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). They have researched and tested designs for improved underride guards and we are hopeful that they will be able to share their findings in the U.S. at our Underride Roundtable.

It is our hope that the research and commitment of many individuals and organizations around the globe, together with a call for a more compassionate Vision Zero approach to regulating highway safety will make an impact. We hope that many will come to understand these issues and join us in calling for change.

8 Picture 657

AnnaLeah & Mary on a walk in Battle Park in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, where they lived for less than a year before the crash on May 4, 2013 ended their lives.

Sign & Share our Vision Zero Petition:  http://www.thepetitionsite.com/417/742/234/save-lives-not-dollars-urge-dot-to-adopt-vision-zero-policy/

Support Underride Research: https://www.fortrucksafety.com/

 

Watch Volvo’s Truck Collision Warning Emergency Braking System

Aaron Kiefer, crash reconstructionist from Cary, NC, toured Volvo in Sweden this summer and learned about their Vision Zero attitude. He recently shared this Youtube video with me which describes Volvo’s truck collision avoiding emergency braking system.

“Published on Jun 24, 2013

In the first episode of Trucks’ Anatomy we take a close look at the revolutionary Collision Warning with Emergency Brake system. Your host Peter Sundfeldt, one of Sweden’s best-known motor journalists will guide you through the test.

Watch the original Emergency Braking video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ridS39…

How does a truck really work? How is it built? How is it developed? Volvo Trucks YouTube-series “Truck’s Anatomy” gives you the answers.

Visit Volvo Trucks website:
http://www.volvotrucks.com

Volvo Trucks in social media:
http://www.facebook.com/VolvoTrucks
http://www.youtube.com/user/VolvoTrucks
https://twitter.com/#!/VolvoTrucks
http://www.flickr.com/photos/volvotrucks

See our Vision Zero Petitionhttp://www.thepetitionsite.com/417/742/234/save-lives-not-dollars-urge-dot-to-adopt-vision-zero-policy/

Note our 3 requests in that petition:

1. Change DOT rulemaking policy to move away from a cost/benefit model and adopt a more humanistic, rational Vision Zero safety strategy model.

2. Apply Vision Zero principles by requiring crash test-based performance standards for truck underride guards rather than force-based design standards along with success at higher speeds—to include rear (both centered and offset) and side guards for both Single Unit Trucks and trailers.

3. Apply Vision Zero principles by initiating rulemaking to require forward collision avoidance and mitigation braking (F-CAM) systems on all new large trucks and buses with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 lbs. or more.

Please sign & share our Vision Zero Petition to SAVE LIVES!

Additional Public Comments on Underride Protection for Single Unit Trucks

Here is the complete list of comments:  http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketBrowser;rpp=25;po=0;dct=PS;D=NHTSA-2015-0070

Here are the most recent comments added to the ANPRM for Underride Protection of Single Unit Trucks after the Public Comment Period was extended for 30 days until November 5, 2015.

Not sure how this is going to prevent people from driving into the rear of a truck… Maybe more money should be spent on educating drivers when they get their…
View Comment

Submitter Name: Anonymous
Posted: 10/08/2015
ID: NHTSA-2015-0070-0061
I am not apposed to putting on reflective tape on the side rails or boxes of straight trucks, but as for the rear guard what is going to be the rule for…
View Comment

Submitter Name: Johnson, Paul
Posted: 10/08/2015
ID: NHTSA-2015-0070-0059
As a long-time transportation industry professional, it is my opinion that CMVs should not be exempt from “bumper height” or any other safety regulations. The…
View Comment

Submitter Name: Gislason, John
Posted: 10/08/2015
ID: NHTSA-2015-0070-0060
Re: Conspicuity Rules. When the rules for class 8 vehicles were implemented, I operated a private fleet operating, primarily, east of the Mississippi river…
View Comment

Submitter Name: Schafer, Robert
Posted: 10/08/2015
ID: NHTSA-2015-0070-0058
September 21, 2015 Docket Management Facility, M-30 U.S. Department of Transportation West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE…
View Comment

Submitter Name: Kearney, Brendan
Posted: 09/28/2015
ID: NHTSA-2015-0070-0054