Mechanical Engineering Student Makes a Good Case for Preventing Underride Crash Fatalities

Here is another good case for improvement in truck underride regulation and manufacture–this time from a mechanical engineering student:!documentDetail;D=NHTSA-2015-0070-0078

It’s all good so be sure and read it, but here are some excerpts:

“Let us consider the future instead of the present for just a moment. A scary revelation is that passenger vehicles used by the commuting public are being designed to be smaller, lighter and built of lightweight composite materials. This engineering is done to improve fuel economy, handling, suspension, and improving the drivers experience. The key is to strive for an increase in safety at the same time. On the polar opposite side of the spectrum, the trucking industry has been trying to increase the size and maximum load of their CMVs to increase revenue for a number of years.

I believe the trucking industry should follow in the footsteps of Emilio Lopez, UPS’ Global Fleet Safety Manager, who was recently quoted in an article by Truckinginfo as saying, “It’s hard to put a ROI (return of investment) on saving someone’s life.” After reviewing recent studies on underride, researching previous studies, looking over police scene photographs and sketches, it can be noted that primarily, rear underride accidents occur at night where the driver of a small passenger vehicle cannot perceive a stopped vehicle.

My biggest issue with the NHTSA ANPRM Docket No.: NHTSA-2015-0070 is the following quote, “Among the 122 fatalities examined in this review, 49 (40 percent) were exceedingly severe crashes that were not survivable.” What if we stop believing traffic fatalities are inevitable and start believing that every traffic fatality is preventable? It may be a rather colossal way of thinking. Innovation can be accomplished by thinking big and starting small. Small steps are what eventually climbs the mountain. Introduce increased regulations on SUT in which the rear guard is stronger than FMVSS Nos. 223 and 224, potentially CMVSS No. 223 compliant guards. Use these regulations to collect real-world data from the increased structural rigidity to determine if the problem lies in the fact that the FMVSS Nos. 223 and 224 guards are not strong enough to begin with.”

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Sign & share Vision Zero Petition:

See how AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety is raising money for underride research and planning an Underride Roundtable at IIHS on May 5, 2016: and


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