Monthly Archives: May 2017

Manufacturer of Side Guards Offers Incentive to City Truck Fleets In Response to Recent Pedestrian Fatality

I received the following email after a pedestrian died under the side of a garbage truck in NYC:

Hello, everyone.

Not sure if you saw this accident in NYC this week.  A very sad and preventable story.  http://nypost.com/2017/05/17/horrified-bystanders-watch-as-woman-is-killed-by-garbage-truck/

To this end and to help with the cause, Airflow Deflector will now be offering an additional shared credit of $500.00 towards the purchase and installation of our side guards before the end of June, 2017.   The credit is optional and each certified garage is optional.

In addition, Airflow Deflector is prepared to offer a finance package to those who want to install side guards on their fleet under this program.

Here is our post with more details   http://airflowdeflector.com/subvention_bic/

Thank you for sharing.

Robert Martineau

Toll-Free Line | 866-717-8737 extension 634

www.airflowdeflector.com

 

SEEING IS BELIEVING: Unique Opportunity To Fund A Crash Test In Our Nation’s Capital

We are making progress on getting a bill introduced in Congress which would mandate Comprehensive Underride Protection on all large trucks. But we don’t want to take a chance that it would somehow get waylaid, defeated, or put on the back burner.

We need to convince every man and woman in the U.S. Congress to vote for the timely passing of the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act of 2017. And we think that we have the perfect plan to accomplish that lofty goal:

We are making plans for a Capitol Grounds Underride Crash Test Media Event; SEEING IS BELIEVING!

We have two major hurdles to overcome:

  1. Gaining permission to hold this event.
  2. Funding to pull it off.

We are in the process of completing the necessary paperwork to get approval for this event and hope to have backing from The Hill. Pray that this request would find favor.

The matter of funding is more elusive; thus I am posting this appeal in hopes that one or more persons will respond to this unique opportunity to change the course of history, to make a significant contribution in the push to end preventable underride tragedies. Pray for a timely and enthusiastic response to this financial need.

We have reached out to the engineers, who have been devoting their lives to designing side underride protection solutions. And we have come up with a budget to organize two crash tests, one into a trailer without a side guard and one into a trailer with a side guard:

  • Two trailers $15,000
  • Two crash cars (including transportation to the site and disposal) $3,000
  • Portable Safety Barriers $500
  • Tractors to bring the trailers to the site & to be hooked up to the trailers for crash test) $1,000
  • Engineer to run the test & insurance $3,000
  • Other costs of the Media Event $2,500
  • TOTAL CRASH TEST/EVENT Budget $25,000

 

IIHS Proves That Side Underride Crashes Are Deadly But Preventable: Seeing Is Believing

AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, dedicated to preventing vehicle violence. Donations accepted here.

Moms Who Lost Daughters In Truck Underride Collisions Push for Greater Safety

Would you want to be in this car?

Day after day, I observe signs that it is easier to put time and money and power into preventing solutions to deadly underride than to seek tirelessly for developing solutions.

I mean, where would we be, in this day and age, if inventive and creative people had not developed the light bulb or airplane or telephone or morse code or television or typewriter or personal computer or cell phone or camera or indoor plumbing or automobile or internet or laptop or smartphone or . . . You get the idea.

So don’t give me any excuses or point the finger of blame at someone else.

We do not lack the skills or the resources to solve the underride problem. No, we lack the will to do so. We treasure the bottomline more than the human lives. At least that is what our actions show.

It is sickening actually. Sometimes the anger and the grief leave me spent.

And then I get up again and head back into the battle. Because that is how we are going to win this war for the best possible protection with Righteousness* & Truth as the weapons of our warfare.

*. . .the quality of being morally right & justifiable.

Would you want to be in this car?

The same holds true for other truck & traffic safety issues which end in Preventable Death by Vehicle Violence.

“. . . I will eliminate the beasts of the field from the land. . . and you will live securely.”  Ezekiel 34:25

2 Moms, Sick & Tired of Waiting, Draft Truck Underride Legislation

 

AnnaLeah, Colorful & Insightful Word-Weaver

My daughter-in-law posted the question on Facebook today, “What books do you think all kids should read?” That made me think, of course, about the Book Reading Lists which AnnaLeah had created. Incomplete and unfinished.

She had a 600-book collection herself  — mostly used — and would have acquired more, I’m sure. She loved to give books as gifts to her niece and nephew and read to them often.

Here are some of her lists:

The Braswell Memorial Library in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, where we were living when the crash occurred, donated a book in the girls’ names. AnnaLeah , a booklover, would have appreciated that gesture.

And here is AnnaLeah’s Statement of Faith, which she wrote when she was 12:

Happy Birthday, AnnaLeah!

 

How You Can Help Us Get Comprehensive Underride Protection On Trucks

I know that I can’t be the only person in this country (or the planet for that matter) who would like to see trucks made safer to drive around. So, for anyone else who would like to help get comprehensive underride protection on trucks in the U.S., here are some ideas:

  1. Sign our Side Guard Petition to let our government & trucking industry leaders know that you want them to act NOW to SAVE LIVES by putting Comprehensive Underride Protection on large trucks.
  2. Contact Your Federal Elected Officials and ask them to support the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection bill:President Donald Trump – Contact the President of the United States by filling out the online contact form or by calling the White House switchboard at 202-456-1414 or the comments line at 202-456-1111 during business hours.
    Members of the U.S. Congress:
    U.S. Senators – Get contact information for your Senators in the U.S. Senate.
    U.S. Representatives – Find the website and contact information for your Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives.
  3. Let me know if you get any response from them, and I can invite them to join in the bipartisan discussions of this bill on The Hill.
  4. Join us in a March in DC to raise awareness & let Congress know that we want them to pass the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act — sooner rather than later. Stay tuned for details as they develop. Let us know if you are interested in joining us: marianne@annaleahmary.com.
  5. We are planning a Seeing Is Believing Media Event on the Capitol Grounds simultaneous with the March in DC.  We want Congress to be convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that underride crashes are both tragic and preventable. This will require some additional resources to pull off — to cover the costs of either a crash test on site or a multimedia event with a large screen projection of the convincing IIHS side underride crash testing video footage. If you want to donate to this important project, you can do so at the AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety (501(c)(3) website.
  6. We will be sending letters to transportation companies alerting them to the IIHS research and asking them to buy trucks with comprehensive underride protection. If you would like to send some letters yourself, contact me at marianne@annaleahmary.com to find out how to do so.

AnnaLeah, my birthday girl. . . Forever 17. . . we miss you.

Here I go again having to pick some memories of AnnaLeah to share on her birthday. She would have been 22 today. How can that be? What would she have done today? How might she have changed?

For one thing, she probably wouldn’t want the spotlight to be shining on her. But she isn’t here to protest and remembering her — preserving the memory of her life and self — is all I can do for her now.

AnnaLeah Karth, May 15, 1995 – May 4, 2013

Some things I want you to know about AnnaLeah. . .

  • My Favorite Memories of AnnaLeah (well, some of them)
  • Time & A Grief Observed: Reflections from CS Lewis & AnnaLeah KarthToday is the day that AnnaLeah was born 20 years ago. Though she only lived 17 years (almost 18), she filled her time with imaginative & colorful activities and endeavors. Time well-spent.
    annaleahcollage2AnnaLeah had a personal collection of over 600 books–most of which she had read. And she loved to create and share imaginative worlds with words. A wordsmith. . . Here is a poem she wrote when she was 12:

    AnnaLeah time poem 2007

  • AnnaLeah’s Very-Thorough 30-Category Booklist
  • Grace Girls Appreciated AnnaLeah For over three years, AnnaLeah took care of the babies and preschoolers of moms who attended a morning Bible Study group called Grace Girls. She had a gift with young children. She enjoyed them and they loved her. The moms appreciated AnnaLeah and let her know so. Photos show a Christmas card she received from them, as well as a farewell card to her when we were moving away from Midland, along with lots of photos of AnnaLeah with little ones.
  • Remembering AnnaLeah Two Years After the Crash :Two years ago, May 4, 2013, AnnaLeah went on her last journey on this earth. Little did she know it at the time.She had worked so hard before we set out for Texas to go to her sister Rebekah’s wedding and college graduations of four older siblings. We were going to be moving into a new home on the Fourth of July. So, she had packed up most of her possessions in preparation for sharing a bedroom with her older sister, Susanna. She had sewn a lovely dress for her niece’s birthday. I was so proud of her.

    Then, it all came to an end.

    AnnaLeah and Susanna May 2011 Levi's graduation 001

    I wanted to share this memorial photo slideshow which her older brother Isaac and sister Susanna put together two weeks later to share at the girls’ funeral. We remember AnnaLeah and the day she was born, May 15, 1995; she would have turned 20 today. Forever 17.

  • I love the glimpse which this video gives of AnnaLeah and the delight she had in giving books to her niece. . .

This “short film” was a little play which AnnaLeah wrote, starring herself and her sister Mary.  Makes me laugh and smile and feel like they’re still here. . .

AnnaLeah Builds Her Hobbit Orphanage
AnnaLeah and Levi joined other youth from Grace Lutheran in Midland, Texas, in a servant event. Under the direction of DCE Eaton they thought that they were going to build a storage shed at Camp Lone Star in 2010. AnnaLeah knew that it was really an orphanage for hobbits! See them hard at work in this fast-action short video…

How a Truck Crash Changed the Month of May; or What Happens When Nobody Takes Responsibility?

 

A running list of links to recent, significant posts on annaleahmary.com

It is encouraging that a lot of positive things are happening in recent months, especially related to underride protection. In order to keep that information readily accessible but not keep it at the top of the site as sticky posts, I am going to keep a running list of links to recent, significant posts:

  1. Hard-to-watch Video Footage of IIHS Side Underride Crash Testing, Watch the video footage of this historic IIHS side underride crash testing at 35 mph on March 30 and 31, 2017 — with and without a side guard. It speaks for itself. . .
  2. SEEING IS BELIEVING: Unique Opportunity To Fund A Crash Test In Our Nation’s Capital We are making progress on getting a bill introduced in Congress which would mandate Comprehensive Underride Protection on all large trucks. But we don’t want to take a chance that it would somehow get waylaid, defeated, or put on the back burner.

    We need to convince every man and woman in the U.S. Congress to vote for the timely passing of the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act of 2017. And we think that we have the perfect plan to accomplish that lofty goal:

    We are making plans for a Capitol Grounds Underride Crash Test Media Event; SEEING IS BELIEVING!

  3. IIHS Proves That Side Underride Crashes Are Deadly But Preventable: Seeing Is Believing, On March 30, Jerry and I witnessed a crash test at 35 mph of a car into the side of a trailer  — with an AngelWing side guard installed — at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Vehicle Research Center in Ruckersville, Virginia. The guard was successful in stopping the car from riding under the trailer, i.e., passenger occupants would have survived.The next day, another car was crashed at 35 mph into the side of a trailer — with a side skirt but no side guard. The car went under the trailer. Occupants would not have survived. . .
  4. Sign our Side Guard Petition here to let our government & trucking industry leaders know that you want them to act NOW to SAVE LIVES by putting side guards on large trucks.
  5. How You Can Help Us Get Comprehensive Underride Protection On Trucks, I know that I can’t be the only person in this country (or the planet for that matter) who would like to see trucks made safer to drive around. So, for anyone else who would like to help get comprehensive underride protection on trucks in the U.S., here are some ideas. . .
  6. SAVE THE DATE for the Second Underride Roundtable: Tuesday, August 29, 2017 at IIHS SAVE THE DATE for the Second Underride Roundtable: Tuesday, August 29, 2017: We will continue to discuss how to bring about the BEST POSSIBLE UNDERRIDE PROTECTION. IIHS will once again co-host this event, with the Truck Safety Coalition and AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety, at their Vehicle Research Center. . .
  7. Question for the ATA: Is it necessary to choose EITHER crash avoidance OR occupant protection — not BOTH?, After the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released their news about side underride crash testing, I began searching online for media reports on the results of their dynamic crash testing of a collision into the side of a trailer with and without a guard.Among other things, I found —  in at least one article — explanations from the IIHS and a reaction from the American Trucking Associations (ATA). . .
  8. 2 Moms, Sick & Tired of Waiting, Draft Truck Underride Legislation, So, what did you do today? If someone were to ask me that question, I would have to admit that I spent hours emailing legislators in Washington, D.C. — asking them to sponsor and support the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act of 2017, otherwise known as RAM CUP Act of 2017.My partner in the process was Lois Durso, a mom who lost her 26 year-old daughter, Roya Sadigh, 12 years ago to a side underride crash. Still to this day, side guards are not required on the sides of large trucks — even though there were 1,534 reported side underride deaths from 1994-2014 in the U.S. . .
  9. Why COMPREHENSIVE Underride Protection Legislation?, Why, you might ask, would we write a piece of legislation calling for a comprehensive underride protection rule? Why not have separate bills for side underride and rear underride and front underride and Single Unit Trucks (SUTs), et cetera?I am convinced of the importance of this strategy and want to share some of my thoughts here about the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act. RAM CUP: A DIFFERENT STRATEGY TO ACHIEVE UNDERRIDE PROTECTION. . .
  10. Side Underride Problem & Solutions Featured on The Today Show, Ronan Farrow investigated the side underride problem and here is his report on The Today Show, February 7, 2017. . .
  11. How can we possibly justify allowing Death by Underride to continue when solutions exist to prevent it?, As I allow myself to remember the joy and laughter and love and creativity and grumpiness and irritability and silliness of my daughters, AnnaLeah and Mary, I also remember why I am working tirelessly to bring an end to Death by Underride — which snatched AnnaLeah from this earthly life on May 4, 2013, and Mary on May 8, 2013. I was in that horrific truck crash four years ago today. I survived but they did not because of Death by Underride. . .
  12. Mandates take burden off manufacturers. Crash tests in labs better than crash tests occurring in real world., Lou Lombardo has written a thought-provoking opinion piece, Creating a Demand for Crash Testing (CTTI, September 2011). It holds great value in confirming the need for comprehensive underride protection legislation to be introduced and passed in a timely manner. . .
  13. They fought the good fight, they finished the race. . .
  14. Every Day’s A Holiday With Mary; Joyful Memories of Mary
  15. Amazing Grace Goodbye, AnnaLeah & Mary, With Love From Grandpa
  16. Truck Industry Leaders: “Clarity is probably the biggest need we have so we can plan accordingly.”
  17. AnnaLeah Karth. May 15, 1995 – May 4, 2013. Death by Underride.
  18. Car Dragged By Semi Due To Defective Truck Design
  19. If people die from riding under Single Unit Trucks, why aren’t they required to have underride protection?
  20. When Will We Tackle Underride? – The Hidden Dangers in Trucks (Trucks.com, August 10, 2016)When people learned of the recent fatal crash in Florida of a Tesla Model S running in its Autopilot mode, many started questioning the safety of autonomous driving features in the newest cars.While this is a legitimate topic of debate, for now autonomous driving presents little threat to those on the road. It comes on just a handful of expensive luxury models, and there’s only a small chance that the car driving next to you will have a robot at the controls.However, the tragic Tesla crash does highlight a real and present highway danger — cars sliding underneath large trucks when vehicles collide. Regardless of who was at fault in the Tesla crash, the driver might have lived if the truck had been required to have side guards that would have prevented the electric sports sedan from wedging underneath the trailer.I know just how dangerous collisions like this can be. My youngest daughters, AnnaLeah and Mary, died in 2013 in a truck rear underride crash.

Question for the ATA: Is it necessary to choose EITHER crash avoidance OR occupant protection — not BOTH?

After the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released their news about side underride crash testing, I began searching online for media reports on the results of their dynamic crash testing of a collision into the side of a trailer with and without a guard.

Among other things, I found —  in at least one article — explanations from the IIHS and a reaction from the American Trucking Associations (ATA):

“These guards can reduce the likelihood the car will go underneath the trailer and therefore save some lives,” said David Zuby, chief research officer for IIHS. “We wanted to show it is possible to provide a counter-measure.”
 
Since 1952, the federal government has required underride guards for the back of trucks as protection in rear-end collisions.
 
It does not have a similar rule for safety systems like the one tested by IIHS, a relatively new device known as an AngelWing side underride guard.
 
The crash protection “has several complicating factors,” said Sean McNally, a spokesman for the American Trucking Association.
 
Side guards add significant weight and can cause cracks in the frame rails of trailers, creating another safety issue, McNally said.
 

“Avoiding the crash in the first place is even more effective than trying to manage the impact of a crash,” he said. 

Read more here: ‘These crashes are catastrophic.’ The deadly impact of truck underride crashes, Patrick Terpstra, Cox Media Group Washington News Bureau, May 10, 2017

Sean McNally, as spokesman for the American Trucking Associations (ATA), is also quoted in another recent article:

The American Trucking Associations said the industry hasn’t come to an agreement on guardrails because they require trade-offs, including added weight. Side guardrails require stiffer trailers that can develop cracks in their frames, which presents another safety risk, ATA spokesman Sean McNally said.

McNally said the trucking industry wants to avoid crashes in the first place, and is supporting efforts to deploy safety technology like automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning systems. Electronic logging devices, which track truckers’ driving and will be required by the end of this year, will also help to prevent crashes, he said.

“It’s important to recognize that all crashes are tragedies, but we also need to recognize that these guards are collision mitigation — and not collision avoidance — equipment and ATA’s primary safety goal is to prevent crashes,” McNally said. Safety group says truck guard rails could prevent deaths, Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto writer, Detroit, May 10, 2017

I have some questions for Sean McNally, as a representative of the ATA, but also for anyone else who might share his stated concerns:

  1. Have you seen the specifications for the AngelWing side guards, including weight and installation requirements?
  2. Have you spoken with (Perry Ponder) the designer and (Airflow Deflector) the manufacturer of the AngelWing side guard? I have.
  3. Have you considered that concerns about added weight can be addressed innovatively? For example, Stoughton Trailers was able to creatively engineer a way to offer stronger rear guards at no added cost or weight penalty to their customers (a guard which, I might add, has already saved at least one life!). Likewise, side guards used in conjunction with side skirts can offer fuel savings/efficiency to trucking companies.
  4. Upon what are you basing your conclusion that the Angel Wing side guards require stiffer trailers — which you say can cause cracks in the frame rails of trailers?
  5. You said, “Avoiding the crash in the first place is even more effective than trying to manage the impact of a crash.”  I assume that you are inferring that crash avoidance technology is more effective at saving lives than underride protection. Do you draw the same conclusion about other safety countermeasures, including air bags, seat belts, and crush zones in cars, as well as rear underride guards? Are you suggesting that it is not advisable to use available (and/or to develop new) safety countermeasures to protect occupants of passenger vehicles, as well as pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists?
  6. Is it necessary to choose either one or the other strategy to save lives, i.e., either crash avoidance or occupant protection? Why would we not proceed with both/and?
  7. I would also like you to clarify your statement that “ATA’s primary safety goal is to prevent crashes.” Just what does that mean anyway? Does that mean it is your only safety goal? Does that mean that you are unwilling to take whatever steps are necessary/possible in order to preserve life and health when a crash does occur?
  8. You made the statement that “all crashes are tragedies.” What is your definition of a tragedy? I think that it must differ from my definition of a tragedy. I do not agree that every crash is a tragedy. A “totaled” vehicle is not a tragedy. A life ended or a life permanently altered by physical injuries — especially when that outcome could have been prevented — that is a tragedy.
  9. I was in the horrific truck crash which killed my daughters, AnnaLeah and Mary. Because the truck’s rear underride guard was not effective in preventing underride, the truck entered my daughters’ occupant space and caused them to suffer fatal injuries. But, unlike them, I survived because the truck did not enter my occupant space.
  10. It was not the initial collision of our car with the truck which caused my daughters to die. It was underride which caused the “Second Collision” of the truck with their innocent, unprotected bodies.
  11. Therefore, to say that every crash is a tragedy is a misleading statement. Words are important. Words have power. Let’s make sure that our words are accurate — based on facts and truth — because those words may well shape the beliefs and decisions of those who have the authority to take actions which could prevent future tragedies.

Really, sorting out this decades-old dilemma can be whittled down to answering a simple question. Will we choose to:

  • continue to allow underride deaths?

OR

  • act responsibly and compassionately to prevent these tragedies?

It is my fervent hope that any confusion or misconceptions will be appropriately addressed and cleared up and that the excellent research, undertaken by the IIHS to verify the underride problem and its solutions, will aid us all in working out together a more humane way to protect vulnerable road users.

2 Moms, Sick & Tired of Waiting, Draft Truck Underride Legislation

Why COMPREHENSIVE Underride Protection Legislation?

 

Mandates take burden off manufacturers. Crash tests in labs better than crash tests occurring in real world.

Lou Lombardo has written a thought-provoking opinion piece, Creating a Demand for Crash Testing (CTTI, September 2011). It holds great value in confirming the need for comprehensive underride protection legislation to be introduced and passed in a timely manner.

“From Sweden, Germany, Japan and Korea, to Australia and the USA, there are excellent safety engineers and scientists the world over in both the private and public sectors. But, as safety legend Ralph Nader has pointed out, these people have more problems than they deserve, and more solutions than are deployed.

“The basic problem is that safety engineers in auto companies and suppliers have to convince their managements to fund safety RDTE & D (research, development, testing, evaluation, and deployment). Managements are reluctant to allocate capital unless they can see a return on investment, have to meet legal (governmental and/or liability) requirements, or face competitive imperatives (pressures or opportunities). Information, as published in magazines such as this, can increase the motivation of managements to allocate resources for crash testing — especially when there is public demand for safety.

“Demand for safety can be stimulated. How? By people, organizations, and events, both planned and unplanned. . . Think Lee Iacocca’s marketing initiative of using images of a dramatic head-on crash of two airbag-equipped Chrysler cares in which motorists walked away, saved by airbags. . .

“First, start with very important goals. . .

“Secondly, we must create lead measures of progress toward meeting these goals. . .

“The third measure is to create a safety-stimulating scoreboard that shows how corporate auto makers rank at protecting their customers and other motorists; how well insurers stimulate safety; and how well Federal and State governments improve the performance of preventing and treating needless deaths and treating people injured in crashes. Can we do this? Yes we can! . . .

“All motorists prefer more crash testing in laboratories to the millions of crash tests occurring in the real world each year.”

Read more here: https://www.careforcrashvictims.com/assets/lombardo-CTTI-Sept2011.pdf

This is very relevant to the state of underride protection in our country. In fact, it reminds me of a comment made to me recently by someone in the trucking industry. Among other things, he said that “legislation takes the burden off of the manufacturers.”

In other words, when the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act is passed, then the truck and trailer manufacturers will no longer have to work to convince their customers that it is to their advantage to have effective underride protection installed. It will just be the way it is — comprehensive underride protection on every single truck on the road. The new normal.

And, thankfully, it will no longer be inevitable that a truck crash will result in an underride tragedy. Imagine.

Someday, people might even forget that truck underride used to happen hundreds of times a year. It will be a piece of our past. And that is just fine with me.

Hard-to-watch Video Footage of IIHS Side Underride Crash Testing

Watch the video footage of this historic IIHS side underride crash testing at 35 mph on March 30 and 31, 2017 — with and without a side guard. It speaks for itself.

Now decide what we should do about this deadly but preventable public health problem.

The Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Bill calls for ALL kinds of underride tragedies to come to an end! RAMCUP Draft 9 Comprehensive Underride Protection Act of 2017

Share this video with your U.S. legislators; tell them to take action!

Find your U.S. Senators here:  https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Find your U.S. Representatives here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/

See the IIHS news release & new truck crash fatalities data here: IIHS Proves That Side Underride Crashes Are Deadly But Preventable: Seeing Is Believing