Monthly Archives: April 2016

Webcast Link now available for May 5 IIHS Truck Underride Roundtable

I just received the webcast link for the upcoming Truck Underride Roundtable at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS):

Webcast Link for Truck Underride Roundtable at IIHS on May 5, 2016


Impact of USED car sales vs NEW car sales on advancement of automated technology #VisionZero

I’ve been thinking about the challenge of improving the traffic safety outlook even with the promises of collision avoidance technology and self-driving vehicles. I keep thinking: What about the fact that many people still own and buy used cars? So, today, I finally looked it up.

Used car sales in 2014: 36,241,800

New car sales in 2014: about 7,687,570

How long will it take for the whole system to hold safer technology? And, meanwhile, will we do what can be done along other fronts to make our roads safer?

See this post: Australia has embraced Vision Zero. What about US?

Towards Zero aims to improve road safety through four cornerstones:
  • Safe Road Use – Improving road user behaviour.
  • Safe Roads and Roadsides – Improving road infrastructure improvements.
  • Safe Speeds – Ensuring speed limits and travel speeds are appropriate for the safety of the road infrastructure.
  • Safe Vehicles – Improving the safety of the vehicles on the road.

A vision can serve to direct decisions and actions. What are we waiting for?

Tell Obama you are standing with us in this: “Family Continues Fight for Trucking Safety”

Vision Zero Goal

Apathy re: highway carnage “The Absurd Primacy of the Automobile in American Life”by Edward Humes

Read this recent article: The Absurd Primacy of the Automobile in American Life

Considering the constant fatalities, rampant pollution, and exorbitant costs of ownership, there is no better word to characterize the car’s dominance than insane. 

. . . cars’ most dramatic cost: They waste lives. They are one of America’s leading causes of avoidable injury and death, especially among the young. Oddly, the most immediately devastating consequence of the modern car—the carnage it leaves in its wake—seems to generate the least public outcry and attention. Jim McNamara, a sergeant with the California Highway Patrol, where officers spend 80 percent of their time responding to car wrecks, believes such public inattention and apathy arise whenever a problem is “massive but diffuse.”

I wrote about that kind of apathy here: Numbers are funny: 1 (crash story) is a tragedy; 1 million (crash stories) is a statistic


Ralph Nader Presents: Breaking Through Power: A Historic Civic Mobilization. . . wish I could go

This sounds like a great conference put on by the Center for Study of Responsive Law with Ralph Nader. Wish I could go:

“The theme of this citizen mobilization will be elaborating ways to break through power to secure long-overdue democratic solutions made possible by a new muscular civic nexus between local communities and Washington, D.C. On these four days, speakers will present innovative ideas and strategies designed to take existing civic groups to higher levels of effectiveness.”

Ralph Nader Presents: Breaking Through Power: A Historic Civic Mobilization

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Mary & AnnaLeah, Fall 2012

Eagerly awaiting the revelation of joy unspeakable–together!

AnnaLeah and Mary,

I thank my God  always concerning you, for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you,

so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:4-9

Love, Mom

I read these verses this morning and immediately thought of AnnaLeah and Mary. I had been planning on writing a post on April 28, the day of Mary’s Confirmation Questioning in 2013–the Sunday before our crash on May 4–though she never went through her formal Confirmation Service (was to have been in June).

I am thankful for the life and faith of AnnaLeah and Mary Lydia and that they are eagerly awaiting the revelation of their Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ, who will confirm them to the end, until we all–together–stand in His presence. Joy unspeakable!

a66 AnnaLeah and Mary's balloonsimage1 (6)

A simple song sung by a mother with simple trust in the Father for the gifts He has given & still to come.



Will consequences dealt to VW for deceitful actions have adequate impact on future industry actions?

Will consequences dealt to VW for deceitful actions have adequate impact on future industry actions?  VW forges U.S. deal arising from diesel emissions scandal

Lou Lombardo, Care for Crash Victims, asks another important question: How much of the costs will be paid by taxpayers? The answer is still unknown.

And, I ask, will a civil settlement punish criminal negligence appropriately? Should executives be jailed for corporate crimes?

I say that a White House Vision Zero Task Force should be established and this issue of corporate negligence in matters of health & death should be one of the matters they address–tout de suite! Do it, President Obama, for We the People of this United States of America! #VisionZero

National Vision Zero Goal

Updated version of our 689-page Vision Zero Petition Book 3rd Edition

Underride Roundtable To Consider Underride Research From Around the Globe

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 discuss and demonstrate truck underride crashes.

In addition, the Underride Roundtable, which will be taking place from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., will be available to watch via livestreaming–with viewer interaction anticipated. The webcast link will be provided here when it is available.

Webcast Link to the Underride Roundtable is now ready for registration for this upcoming event! Webcast Link for Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Underride Roundtable

Underride Roundtable Agenda May 5, 2016

Vision Zero Petition Book 3rd Edition

Truck Underride Roundtable is one week away! May it be sehr gut!

In order to prepare for that, I am going to highlight some past and current underride research papers and efforts here. It will, of course, not cover everything and others are welcome to send additional information my way, which I would be more than happy to add to the list.

Although most of the research below will not appear as a presentation on the agenda, I am hopeful that the information will be considered by all as recommendations for underride protection are discussed and proposed.

I had actually wanted to put together a packet of this kind of information to hand out to participants. Then I thought that it might be more useful to provide it to a wider audience by posting it on our website. So here it is.

In addition, I have prepared a feedback form to enable you to let me know what you think should be done about truck underride protection.  I am hoping to get a good response and will compile any results which I receive before the Underride Roundtable, as well as after the event.

Please print my Dragon Underride Protector Wish List, fill in your answers, scan it, and email it to me at

Although I don’t know all the names and details, I imagine that there are countless individuals and organizations who have contributed, over a span of many years, to the discussion and development of underride protection. I am thankful that we can build upon that foundation.

Here is some of the research which I have come across in my search for the best possible protection.

Update, May 21, 2016: Other Research Not Listed Below: See this post, Other Research Which Should Not Be Ignored in Current Underride Rulemaking

Australian Underride Research:

  1. Truck Underride Prevention Research Too Long Neglected; How Long Will This Highway Carnage Continue?, includes crash test video footage & links to research papers/reports
  2. Good news from Australia: A Stronger Rear Underride Guard Rule Has Been Proposed!
  3. Australian engineers champion the cause of better truck underride protection
  4. The Future of Underride Prevention: A conversation with underride researcher from Australia
  5. Under-runRaphCommittee
  6. Side Underride Paper Rechnitzer and Grzebieta
  7. Side Underrun Barriers Rechnitzer & Grzetieta

Virginia Tech Senior Underride Design Team:

  1. Hurrah! VA Tech Sr. Dream Team has attached their underride guard to a trailer!
  2. Virginia Tech Senior Underride Design Team Spring Midterm Report
  3. Virginia Tech Senior Design Project is Addressing the Need for Stronger Underride Guards; Mid-Semester Progress Report
  4. Senior Underride Design Project Mid-Year Report Presented by Virginia Tech Students
  5. Here is your chance to help the Virginia Tech Student Design Team build a life-saving underride guard!

Aaron Kiefer (North Carolina) Innovative Side/Rear Underride Research:

  1. Innovative combined side & rear guard promises better underride protection
  2. Imagine a truck UNDERRIDE GUARD which provides REAR & SIDE protection.
  3. Needed for an Underride Crash Test: Beat-up 53′ Box Trailer & a Chevy Malibu
  4. Witnessed safety defect in action at underride crash tests; this is what snuffed out my daughters’ lives.
  5. Innovative Side & Rear Underride Guard Crash Test crash test video, April 30, 2016

German Researchers:

  1. Detlef Alwes:                     Image result for detlef alwesFlyer Truck RUP 2015_fb1 Detlef Alwe    Detlef Alwes Underrun Protection System Presentation1_2016 (1) & Detlef Alwes aus Bad Honnef entwickelte Unterfahrschutz (go here to get this translated: German to English Translation)
  2. Andreas Ratzek, ADAC, Munchen, Germany:                                                                      Youtube video:                                  Position Papers: ADAC Underrun Protection Position Paper _Unterfahrschutz_EN_12_12_04  and  ADAC Underrun Protection Standpunkt Heckunterfahrschutz_EN

34 Public Comments on the current NHTSA Rear Underride Rulemaking can be found here: NPRM Upgrade Underide.

73 Public Comments on the current ANPRM for Single Unit Trucks: ANPRM Underride Protection of Single Unit Trucks

Please note this comment in particular: Perry Ponder, Seven Hills Engineering, Comment from Seven Hills Engineering, LLC with reference to a 1969 DOT document indicating their intention to extend underride protection to the sides of large vehicles: Regulators, manufacturers, & advocates need to read this engineer’s comment on truck underride

Also, note that Seven Hills sponsored a Senior Capstone Project at FSU College of Engineering in 2010/11 to design a side guard: Side Underride Guard w/ Aerodynamic Fairing – Senior Design Fall 2010—Spring 2011


  1. Dean Sicking & Kevin Schrum have submitted a proposal for underride research & design based on technology which could provide underride protection in extreme crash conditions:     Development of Trailer Underride Preventive Measures and AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety is excited to begin raising money to support NASCAR’s safety hero, Dean Sicking, research for SAFER Truck Underride Guards. and Unexpected Visit With a Hopeful Underride Research Engineer
  2. Wabash National has designed a stronger rear underride guard: Thank you, Wabash, for creating a safer truck rear underride guard! And Stoughton will be having their new guard crash tested at the Roundtable. And Manac has already had theirs tested: The Best Possible Protection.
  3. Bruce Enz, Injury & Crash Analysis (Indiana), Injury & Crash Analysis Underride Research
  4. Trucker, Jeff Halling recommends keeping in mind the docking requirements:
  5. Andy Young, truck litigation attorney, truck owner, Piercing the Passenger Compartment–Voluntary Efforts to Stop the Horrors of Underride Truck Crashes and Andy Young-BIO and UNDERRIDE TRUCK CRASHES – WORSE THAN HITTING A BRICK WALL Andy Young
  6. Airflow Deflector will be participating in the Roundtable and I will look forward to finding out more about their side underride protection, particularly for City Trucks to protect Vulnerable Road Users: Airflow DeflectorAirflow Deflector Video and Truck Side Guards for Vision Zero – NYC
  7. Underride Network, I have become aware of many researchers through information made available on the Underride Network website. Stephen Hadley, manager of this website: Underride Network want list for topics at IIHS Underride Roundtable
  8. Byron Bloch has shared with us from his vast experience with truck underride: IMPROVED CRASHWORTHY DESIGNS FOR TRUCK UNDERRIDE GUARDS & Let’s Move From: “A Failure of Compassion, & Tactics of Conceal-­‐Delay-­‐Deny While Fiery Crashes Occur” to a “Vision of Zero Fatalities”
  9. Jerry Karth‘s Public Comments on the underride rulemaking: Comment from Jerry Karth and Public Comment on the NPRM for Rear Underride Guards on Trailers by Jerry Karth pdf
  10. My comment on the Single Unit Truck ANPRM: Marianne Karth – Comment and March Historically a Momentous Month for Truck Underride Safety Advocacy 2 and Truck Underride A Practical Application of a Vision Zero Goal Marianne Karth Public Comment
  12. IIHS Large Truck Status Report ArticlesLarge trucks About 1 in 10 highway deaths occurs in a crash involving a large truck.
  13. Much, much more can be found about truck underride at our website: Underride Guards Page and Underride Guards Posts on

And last, but not least, out of the mouths of babes. . .

NOTE: I will likely be updating this post as we get closer to the Underride Roundtable on May 5, 2016!  And, of course, I can hardly wait to post the results of the Roundtable itself!

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In memory of AnnaLeah & Mary, Precious Ones whose lives were cut far too short.


Underride Research Meme

Australia has embraced Vision Zero. What about US?

Western Australia has embraced Vision Zero. What about the US?

Towards Zero is Western Australia’s road safety strategy for 2008-2020.
Towards Zero aims to improve road safety through four cornerstones:
  • Safe Road Use – Improving road user behaviour.
  • Safe Roads and Roadsides – Improving road infrastructure improvements.
  • Safe Speeds – Ensuring speed limits and travel speeds are appropriate for the safety of the road infrastructure.
  • Safe Vehicles – Improving the safety of the vehicles on the road.

A vision can serve to direct decisions and actions. What are we waiting for?

Vision Zero Petition Book Cover draft

Do it, President Obama, for We the People of this United States of America! #VisionZero

Vision Zero/Safe System: foreseen fatalities need to be addressed if a design countermeasure possible

No matter what causes a crash, when underride occurs, it is the victim who pays the price.

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The Standards Australia recently-released proposed rear underrun rule says this in Commentary G of its STANDARDS AUSTRALIA Rear Underride Proposed Rule:

“Around twelve fatalities occur each year as a result of truck underruns in Australia. The injuries are usually horrific (see references in paragraph G7.2.1. for Rechnitzer & Foong [1991], Rechnitzer & Grzebieta [1991], Grzebieta & Rechnitzer [2001], Lambert & Rechnitzer [2002], Brumbelow [2011], & IIHS [2014]).

“Given that Australia has adopted a ‘Vision Zero’ road safety philosophy and the ‘Safe System Approach’ road safety strategy, all such foreseen fatalities need to be addressed if a design countermeasure can be implemented.

“The U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has also identified that the truck underrun fatalities and serious injuries are occurring as a result of inadequate truck underrun barriers and the lack of a crash performance test standard (IIHS 2014). They have rated a number of underrun barriers using a performance crash test protocol they recently developed.”

Clearly, they get it: if a fatality is predictable, and a solution exists which could prevent it, then it should be implemented!

See previous post on this topic:  Good news from Australia: A Stronger Rear Underride Guard Rule Has Been Proposed!

Same old/same old: Senate Prepares To Make Truck Safety Even Worse, Advocates Warn

No matter who causes a truck crash, the victims pay the price. This country needs to understand that there is a better way to resolve traffic safety problems than through a political tug-of-war!
After my daughters, AnnaLeah (17) and Mary (13), were killed in a truck crash almost three years ago on May 4, 2013, I have had my eyes opened and would like others to listen to what I have to say.
We can do better than continue to put our heads in the sand and think that these horrific, preventable, tragic deaths will go away by handling these problems the same old way.
What is being done now to address traffic safety issues is just not working: Senate Prepares To Make Truck Safety Even Worse, Advocates Warn
If you could walk in my shoes (and those of the hundreds of thousands of other Americans who have lost loved ones this way) and bear the unnecessary grief on a daily basis, then you might be able to understand the frustration of knowing that something better could be done about this–but ISN’T.

Are you listening, Congress, everyone involved in the trucking industry and traffic safety advocacy, and especially, right now, President Obama?!

Life & Death Traffic Safety Problems Deserve Proper Treatment: Not Political Tug-of-War Game!

AnnaLeah & Mary, we miss you so much!

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Marcus and Vanessa & the memorial bricks

Towards Zero: There’s no one someone won’t miss.

Comment on Huffington Post article