Reflections from a bereaved dad on the Underride Roundtable & what that means for rulemaking

Jerry Karth submitted some additional comments on the proposed underride rule–with reflections on what was learned through the Underride Roundtable. These comments have now been posted on the Federal Register: Additional Comments on Underride Rulemaking by Jerry Karth, May 19, 2016

He included the following important points:

After participating in the Underride Roundtable, I would like to offer these additional comments (also attached as pdf with clickable links):

1. When the Karth family petitioned Secretary Foxx on May 5, 2014, we requested an upgrade in rear underride guards. At the time, we requested that the U.S. guards meet or exceed the Canadian standard. Since that time, having done extensive online research, we have come in contact with researchers who have shown that much more is possible given existing or proposed underride research.

2. One of the questions raised at the Underride Roundtable was whether underride protection could be produced to prevent underride at higher speeds. In the Preliminary Regulatory Evaluation of the NPRM, NHTSA requested information about underride guard crash tests at higher speeds (than the 35 mph currently being proposed). In fact, underride research has been conducted for decades which has demonstrated that it is possible to prevent underride crashes at higher speeds. It is research which has been available and known to regulators and the industry. For example, the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) in Australia tested energy-absorbing guards to 75 km/h or 47 mph in the early 1990s.

3. The image of a MUARC energy-absorbing underride guard can be seen in the attachment.

4. The U.S. final underride rule should, at minimum, copy the new Australian/New Zealand proposed rule published in April 2016 as the next underride guard rule rather than the present Canadian rule which is 11 years old. The Australian rule mentions test speeds under the heading Test Requirements on p. 60, Clause G7.3: “Current vehicle crashworthiness technology indicates that occupants will not suffer serous injury in an equivalent frontal impact speed of up to around 64 km/h into a deformable barrier if the car is a modern five star Australian New Car Assessment (ANCAP) vehicle. . . The development of effective energy absorbing TUBs [Truck Underrun Barrier] would both reduce the serious injury to vehicle occupants and increase the effect frontal impact speed DeltaV above the 70 km/h test speed compared with a rigid TUB.”

5. It is technically feasible to develop an improved underride guard in less than a year, as the VA Tech Students demonstrated.

6. The consumers of the trailers have requested and received, from 4 of the trailer manufacturers (Wabash, Manac, Vanguard, Stoughton) improved underride guards.
7. Four of the major trailer manufacturers were more than willing to step up and provide a better underride guard (successfully tested at 35 mph for a 30% offset crash).

8. It is cost-effective to design and build a better underride guard.

9. The Cost/Benefit Analysis (CBA ) used in this rulemaking is faulty as clearly demonstrated by some of the manufacturers’ willingness to step up and provide a better underride guardeven without regulation. (Truck Safety Marketplace)

10. It is possible to bring all of the parties involved into the process, to have meaningful conversation, and to make progress.

These attachments were included:

Jerry submitted his original public comment regarding the proposed underride rulemaking on February 16, 2016. A Bereaved Dad Takes a Close Look at the Flaws in Underride Regulatory Cost/Benefit Analysis

Underride Roundtable Timeline74 gertie 2314PetitionHeader_option2Underride Roundtable May 5, 2016 141

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