Category Archives: Truck Safety

Perfect Opportunity to Transform SuperTruck Into An ESV To Advance Underride Protection; DOT & DOE?

I learned this week about the money being poured into the SuperTruck project administered by DOE. I can’t get past amazement that they have not included safety goals in this project. Here is the perfect opportunity to transform the SuperTruck into an Experimental Safety Vehicle (ESV) — without having to do it as a totally new project.

Okay, I can get past it because I am not going to stop until I find answers to my questions and agreement to transform this into an interagency collaborative effort to save fuel/costs and, by the way, lives, too!

I will be in Washington, D.C., anyway on March 1 for a Road to Zero Coalition quarterly meeting. How about I find a way to instigate a joint meeting at that time between DOE, DOT, and someone from a Transportation Committee on The Hill? Like maybe Senator Thune?

This emphasizes the need for a White House Traffic Safety/Vision Task Force to facilitate better collaboration and communication on matters related to road safety, including establishing a position of Traffic Safety Ombudsman to be a vigilant voice for vulnerable victims of vehicle violence. Not to mention the better application of trucking industry money toward joint safety efforts in projects like this, including establishing and funding an Underride Specialist/Consultant/Researcher/Engineer to work full-time on these issues, with a budget to do safety testing at places like the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Here is our chance to harness the resources of our government and creative minds in the trucking industry to advance comprehensive and effective underride protection on large trucks. What are we waiting for?

Haven’t we waited long enough already?

https://energy.gov/articles/energy-department-announces-137-million-investment-commercial-and-passenger-vehicle

Boost efficiency? What about saving lives?

Comments From Petition Signers On The Push To Get Side Guards On Large Trucks

Every signature on our Side Guard Petition helps us take the message to our country’s leaders that we want effective side underride protection on all trucks. They don’t need to add a comment. But I found it interesting, when I checked the petition this morning, to find quite a few comments added.

For example,

I am one of the lucky ones. In a Buffalo suburb, the semi in front of me rotated 90 degrees and was headed north on an east-west Interstate. I barely had time to think of my family, and Jayne Mansfield. Fortunately, I was able to aim my car at the “head end” of the rig. My Alfa Romeo and my seat belt protected me well while the rear end of the car (I was told later) left the ground on impact. Although it happened back in the late 1970s, I often recall that frightening moment when I pass a semi on a highway. I look under the side of the trailer and wonder why there are no side guards.

and,

My daughter which is 4 years old & I had a semi pull out in front of us from off the side of the shoulder on a roadway to do a “U-turn” & the semi driver obviously didn’t see my car & proceeded. Thank gosh my brakes worked really good cause if they didn’t we would’ve been the next victims. But driving now these days it always haunts me the vision I had that day of my daughter & I being killed because of the stupidity of that 1 semi driver! This law needs to be passed & I stand strongly on this issue!

and,

It is salient that this protection will save lives. It is also salient that the trucking industry contributes millions to politicians so they can save money on truck modifications. I got a message to the industry: Stop paying off politicians and channel that money into safety rails. And to the politicians: Represent us the people, not the trucking industry. We are watching you.

and,

I have two degrees in Driver and Traffic Safety and taught Driver Education for 30 years. I don’t care if it “would” or “could” save lives. Anything to help protect us is worth the effort and cost.

and,

simple safety feature that will save lives

See more here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/251/762/472/end-deadly-side-underride-crashes-mandate-side-guards-on-large-trucks/

Clearly, this safety measure makes sense to people. What do you think?

DOE pours millions into SuperTruck fuel savings research projects; $0 devoted to side underride protection?

How is it that the DOE and Volvo poured resources into research and development of SuperTrucks but did not bother to (as far as I can tell, though I am not done looking into this yet) include improved underride protection as a goal of this project?!

  1. http://www.truckinginfo.com/ channel/fuel-smarts/news/ story/2016/09/volvo-s- supertruck-exceeds-epa- freight-efficiency-goals.aspx
  2. I have not been able to get Wabash to return my communications. I am trying to find out if they did any crash testing with their full-length skirts or what material it is made out of: http://news. wabashnational.com/wabash- national-demonstrates- concepts-for-next-generation- aerodynamic-solutions-on- navistars-supertruck
  3. DOE’s Navistar : http://www.truckinginfo.com/ news/story/2016/09/navistar- supertruck-beats-doe- efficiency-goals-hits-13-mpg. aspx
  4. Aerodynamic improvements that reduce the trailer’s drag coefficient by more than 30%. The vehicle is part of the DOE’s SuperTruck program – a five-year research and development initiative aimed at improving freight efficiency, based in the measure of the payload carried while burning less fuel.

Its objective is to develop and demonstrate a 50% improvement in overall freight efficiency on a Class 8 tractor-trailer vehicle as measured in ton-miles per gallon of diesel fuel.

Could they not have combined resources with DOT to accomplish such a thing?

Again, cost-savings over life-savings.

Can we use the potential fuel efficiency cost-savings of side guards advantageously to win the cost/benefit analysis battle?

Super Truck II is announced! Let’s get DOT to be involved with this project! $20,000 fuel savings/year could go to safety research!!!!!!!!!!!!

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz was present for the unveiling of Volvo’s SuperTruck concept/demo rig in Washington, D.C. Here’s what he had to say about reaching the DOE’s next step in the fuel economy/freight efficiency project: SuperTruck II. http://www.truckinginfo. com/video/detail/2016/09/on- the-spot-reaching-for- supertruck-ii-video.aspx

More information on this SuperTruck project and random frustrated reactions:

$20 million in federal funding for the Super Truck II project and we can’t get diddly for side guard research?!?!?!!?!

http://www.truckinginfo.com/channel/fuel-smarts/news/story/2016/08/volvo-group-outlines-supertruck-ii-plans.aspx  Volvo Group has outlined how it plans to use $20 million in federal funding to further the freight-moving efficiency of heavy-duty trucks as part of the SuperTruck II initiative.

Volvo Group said its team of researchers and engineers will use alternative engine designs and an integrated system approach to build a lightweight tractor-trailer concept that will exceed the freight efficiency goal of 100% improvement on a ton-mile-per-gallon basis compared to a 2009 baseline. The team is also tasked with demonstrating powertrain capable of 55% brake thermal efficiency. Volvo Group and its partners will match the development funds dollar-for-dollar.

To achieve these goals, the company plans to leverage its experience in vehicle development along with established partnerships with advanced technology and trailer equipment vendors.

Those partners include Michelin Americas Research Company for tires, Wabash National for trailers, Metalso for lightweight frames, Johnson-Matthey for exhaust aftertreatment systems, and Peloton Technology for platooning and connected vehicle tech. . .

Daimler Trucks North America will develop and demonstrate a tractor-trailer combination using a suite of technologies including active aerodynamics, cylinder deactivation, hybridization, and the electrification of accessories. . .

For more information on the DOE’s alternative fuel technology investment, click herehttps://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/vehicle-technologies-office

Related: DOE Commits $137M to Advance Fuel-Efficient Tech  http://www.truckinginfo.com/channel/fuel-smarts/news/story/2016/08/doe-commits-137-million-to-advance-fuel-efficient-tech.aspx

Yet more disturbing information:

This gives links to multiple articles on the SuperTruck project: http://www.truckinginfo.com/list/tag/supertruck.aspx

Trailer aerodynamics have become increasingly important in recent years as truck operators see that they can save fuel money. They’re so important that the federal government is paying several teams of truck and trailer makers to design concept rigs that show what’s possible in this area of science.

As far back as the 1980s I’ve written about various types of trailer aero fairings, from Nose Cones to TrailerTails and many brands of skirts and other appendages in between.

Here’s one I don’t recall writing about, at least not lately: the UnderTray and other products from SmartTruck. The company has posted a YouTube video depicting a tractor-trailer moving through the air at highway speed, with streamlines showing how the devices smooth air flow over the vehicle. Check it out here

Also note the Diffuser, SmartTruck’s device mounted ahead of the rear underride guard that redirects air away from its vertical and horizontal members. These otherwise grab at the air and create drag. (Old timers still call this the “ICC bumper” because the old Interstate Commerce Commission required them, something I definitely don’t recall being a fact, but it’s part of trucking vocabulary.)

The trailer portion of Freightliner’s SuperTruck of course got large panels that improve air flow around corners, deep skirts to keep air away from the Strick van’s undercarriage and tandem, and a boat tail similar to a Trailer Tail, but home-made. One would expect all of those.

What?!?!?!?!?!?! All of this government money going into research & development for fuel savings but not a word or project related to underride protection/SAFETY?!

See recent Public Comments to NHTSA. You, too, can speak up to end preventable truck underride.

You, too, can let NHTSA know what you want them to do about the problem of preventable truck side underride. In addition to signing the Side Guard Petition which we have launched online, you can also post a comment directly to NHTSA on the Federal Register.

Although the official Public Comment period is closed, comments will still be posted and taken into consideration by NHTSA, as they have not yet put together a Final Rule on truck underride protection.

I have received notifications the last few days regarding new postings to the Federal Register of Public Comments from people asking DOT/NHTSA to mandate side guards! I am assuming that this is in response to my request for people to do so to help bring about change. 🙂 See the recent Public Comments here:

You can do it, too! SUBMIT a Public Comment to DOT/NHTSA here: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NHTSA-2015-0118 After you get to this site, click on the COMMENT NOW button.

Don’t forget to sign the Side Guard PETITION

Electronic Log Books Not The Whole Answer; A Tired Trucker Roundtable Is Vital

Source: https://www.facebook.com/twistedtruckers/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/494507530713925/permalink/795767523921256/

I am convinced that we need to bring together multiple stakeholders around the table to discuss Tired Truckers. We need to work together to tackle this problem.

 

If the Side Underride Problem Makes You Mad, Here Are 5 Ways To Be A Part of the Solution

If you watch the Today Show’s investigative report on truck SIDE UNDERIDE, you will discover that the federal government does not require side guards on large trucks. And trailer manufacturers do not install them on the trailers they produce.

NBC News article: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/side-underride-crashes-kill-200-people-year-will-congress-act-n711721

 That might make you a little bit mad, so here are 5 ways you can put that frustration to work to help bring about change:
 
+ 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. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/251/762/472/end-deadly-side-underride-crashes-mandate-side-guards-on-large-trucks/
 
+ Submit a Public Comment to DOT/NHTSA here. https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NHTSA-2015-0118 After you get to this site, click on the COMMENT NOW button.
 
+ Write to the 8 major trailer manufacturers.Tell them that you want them to put side guards on the trailers which they produce and sell to trucking companies. You can find their contact information here. http://annaleahmary.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Contact-Information-for-Major-Trailer-Manufacturers-1.pdf
 
+ Support side guard research projects, which will help get affordable and effective side guards on the market. Donate here. https://www.fortrucksafety.com/
 
+ Contact your legislators here. https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials

February 13, 2017 Update: I just received a notification of a new posting to the Federal Register of a Public Comment from someone asking DOT/NHTSA to mandate side guards! I am assuming that someone responded to my request for people to do so to help bring about change. 🙂

See it here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=NHTSA-2015-0118-0049 Actually, a second person also submitted a comment.

You can do it, too! SUBMIT a Public Comment to DOT/NHTSA here: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NHTSA-2015-0118 After you get to this site, click on the COMMENT NOW button.

What if trucking industry campaign contributions went toward safety research & implementation instead?

Yesterday, Ronan Farrow reported that members of of the Senate Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee received $9,187,124 in campaign contributions in the 2016 cycle from the Transportation Sector.

See it for yourself here:

Ronan asked, “Why does it take so long to move the needle on this, when people are dying every year?” See what former head of NHTSA, Joan Claybrook, had to say about that:

What if trucking industry campaign contributions went toward safety research & implementation instead?

How much closer would we be to Zero Truck Crash Fatalities?

The trucking industry needs to answer the same question which Senator Robert Kennedy posed to GM in 1965. I’d like to ask them,

  • “What was your profit in 2016?”
  • “And how much money did you spend on safety research in 2016?”

I’d really like to know the answers — not just for 2016 but for many years before as well. Because I’m not willing to compromise. There are too many shattered families, broken hearts, and lives ended far too soon.

Sign the Petition: End Deadly Truck Side Underride Crashes: Mandate Side Guards

Then, SHARE it.

Find out how you can DONATE to Underride Research HERE. Make a difference

Today Show’s Investigation Of Deadly Truck Underride Generates Long-Overdue Nat’l Conversation

Ronan Farrow started a national conversation this morning about deadly truck side underride with his investigative report on The Today Show:

And here’s the NBC News article from that report: Side Underride Crashes Kill 200 People a Year. Will Congress Act?by , and

That got the ball rolling. Here are some other mentions of that investigation:

  1. Huffington Post: Remember That Fatal Tesla Crash? Politicians Might Be Partly To Blame.
  2. The Hill: Report: Trucking lobby resisting mandatory safety devices

Join the conversation. Let your voice be heard. Sign the Side Guard PetitionEnd Deadly Truck Side Underride Crashes: Mandate Side Guards

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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:

Side Guards: New push to make safety devices on trucks mandatory

NBCNews story on side guards (2/7/17): Side Underride Crashes Kill 200 People a Year. Will Congress Act?

The federal government does not require side guards on large trucks. Trailer manufacturers do not install them on the trailers they produce. Here are 5 ways you can help to change that:

  1. 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.
  2. Write to the 8 major trailer manufacturers. Tell them that you want them to put side guards on the trailers which they make and sell to trucking companies. You can find their contact information here.
  3. Support side guard research projects, which will help get affordable and effective side guards on the market. Donate here.
  4. Contact your legislators here.
  5. Submit a Public Comment to DOT/NHTSA here. After you get to this site, click on the Comment Now button.

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Aaron Kiefer’s underride protection devices: ENHANCING TRUCK SAFETY ​ SAVING LIVES

What Will It Take To Convince US That Side Underride KILLS But Side Guards Save Lives?

February 13, 2017 Update: I just received a notification of a new posting to the Federal Register of a Public Comment from someone asking DOT/NHTSA to mandate side guards! I am assuming that someone responded to my request for people to do so to help bring about change. 🙂 See it here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=NHTSA-2015-0118-0049 Actually, a second person also submitted a comment.

You can do it, too! SUBMIT a Public Comment to DOT/NHTSA here: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NHTSA-2015-0118 After you get to this site, click on the COMMENT NOW button.

 

Ways We Can Work Together To End Deadly Truck Underride

Side Underride Kills; Side Guards Save Lives

The federal government does not require side guards on large trucks. Trailer manufacturers do not install them on the trailers they produce. Here are 3 ways you can help to change that:

  1. Write to the 8 major trailer manufacturers. Tell them that you want them to put side guards on the trailers which they make and sell to trucking companies. You can find their contact information here.
  2. 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.
  3. Support side guard research projects, which will help get affordable and effective side guards on the market. Donate here.

Truck Underride will be featured on The Today Show, February 7, at 7:40 a.m.

AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety is Raising Money to Support These Road Safety Projects:

  1. Crash Reconstructionist Aaron Kiefer is developing an innovative combination side/rear underride guard. Help him get it ready to put into the hands of manufacturers. See Aaron’s side guard research here.
  2. Collegiate Engineering Senior Design Competition 2017/18: Support a student competition to creatively solve the side underride problem. Student teams will present their research at the IIHS Vehicle Research Center in the Spring of 2018, and one team’s side guard design will be selected for a crash test. (Last year’s Virginia Tech Senior Design Project presented at the Underride Roundtable.)
  3. We also promote other underride research & solutions which will be discussed at the Second Underride Roundtable on August 29, 2017 at the IIHS, including the AngelWing side underride protection device.

AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is eligible to receive contributions that may be tax deductible for the donor. Your donation will help fund projects that will save lives!

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AnnaLeah & Mary’s Story

Underride Guard Facts