The Best Possible Protection
Studies have been done which show that trucks, even if they are equipped with rear underride guards, do not pass all of the crash tests. In fact, out of 8 truck companies tested, only one, Manac, passed all of the tests: http://www.iihs.org/news/
So, it may be a true statement, according to The American Trucking Association, “that many manufacturers are producing trucks with better than required safety underride guards.”http://myfox8.com/2013/08/
Why would there be resistance to providing the best possible protection? Is it money? Quite possibly… Yet, according to Manac President Charles Dutil, the Manac underride guard “doesn’t weigh 200 pounds more than anybody else’s; it doesn’t cost $200 more,” estimating the difference to be at most 20 pounds and $20.
“If trailer manufacturers can make guards that do a better job of protecting passenger vehicle occupants while also promising lower repair costs for their customers, that’s a win-win,” says David Zuby, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s chief research officer. https://www.youtube.com/
What I want most of all, in this situation, is to help reduce the number of families who open their mail to find a death certificate for a family member because of a preventable death.
NOTE: I wrote the above as a facebook post just a few months (August 14, 2013) after the crash which took AnnaLeah and Mary from us. Since then, almost three years later, three more trailer manufacturers have voluntarily improved their rear underride protection.
But there are four major manufacturers who have not and federal underride standards have not yet been improved. And then there are side guards and exempt single unit (straight, box) trucks which still need to be addressed. Not to mention the 12 million existing trucks on the road which probably won’t be required to be retrofitted with improvements.
Meanwhile people continue to die. Needlessly.
Adopting needed safety technology should not have to be such a battle. Why is it then?