Tag Archives: AngelWing

Animated Illustration of Airflow Deflector’s AngelWing Side Guard

Check out this animated illustration of Airflow Deflector’s Angel Wing side guard. . .

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.

See it for yourself because Seeing Is Believing:

This one may be tough to watch:

The IIHS released the news today:

Note this quote from David Zuby, IIHS Chief Research Officer:
 

“Our tests and research show that side underride guards have the potential to save lives,” says David Zuby, the Institute’s executive vice president and chief research officer. “We think a mandate for side underride guards on large trucks has merit, especially as crash deaths continue to rise on our roads.”

The wheels on a tractor and trailer offer some underride protection if a passenger vehicle were to strike them. With no side underride guard, only 28 percent of a 53-foot trailer’s length would be protected from underride. With the AngelWing side underride guard in place, 62 percent of the trailer’s length would be protected. Side underride guards can be retrofitted to existing semitrailers.

The IIHS also released data from their recent in-depth analysis of NHTSA FARS truck crash fatality information:

Passenger vehicle occupant deaths in 2-vehicle crashes with tractor-trailers, 2005-15

IIHS analysis of NHTSA FARS Data

Year

Passenger vehicle

strikes side

of tractor-trailer

Passenger vehicle

strikes rear

of tractor-trailer

All crashes

with tractor-trailers

2015

301

292

1,542

2014

308

220

1,409

2013

274

213

1,377

2012

306

216

1,376

2011

246

189

1,362

2010

319

181

1,417

2009

269

174

1,237

2008

290

180

1,526

2007

417

218

1,771

2006

394

260

1,853

2005

441

258

1,932

Per Matt Brumbelow and Eric Teoh, IIHS, May 10, 2017

March 30, 2017, AngelWing Crash Test: Lois Durso, John Lannen, Andy Young, Marianne Karth, Jerry Karth, Martin Fleury, Perry Ponder, Mariella Amoros, Robert Martineau

If this many people were dying from an automotive defect and we knew it and we knew how to fix it, would we stand by and let those deaths continue?! Maybe that is the wrong question to ask because those kinds of deadly defects have been neglected as well. But the point is,

What will we choose to do at this crossroads?

Continue to allow underride deaths?

OR

Act responsibly to prevent these tragedies?

This is not the first time we have witnessed successful prevention of deadly side underride:

Let’s mandate/install comprehensive underride protection — all around all large trucks — now! RAMCUP Draft 9 Comprehensive Underride Protection Act of 2017

“Deadly side underride crashes can now be addressed”

Robert Martineau, President and CEO of Airflow Deflector, Inc., discusses the problem of side underride:

It’s one of the most devastating traffic accidents: A car slams into the side of a tractor-trailer and crashes underneath and where most of its many safety features like airbags and other sensors are rendered worthless. As a result, the top of the vehicle may be sheared off; in many cases, the occupants are fatally injured.

Read more here: Announcement: “Deadly side underride crashes can now be addressed”

Perry Ponder, inventor of the AngelWing side underride protective device, explains to Jerry Karth how his side guard is installed and does its life-saving work.

NBC News Updates Article on Today Show Side Underride Report

NBC News received a letter from the Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association about the Today Show investigative report on Side Underride. After further investigation, NBC News added this to their article on the report:

Update and correction: After the publication of our story, we received a letter from the Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association (TTMA), which argues that our report overstated the simplicity of the side guard fix and that prototypes have been technical and commercial failures. TTMA made the same argument to NHTSA in a letter we referenced in our report, which you can read here. They also told us that TTMA has not made any political donations to lawmakers on the issue of side underrides, including to Senator Thune. In response to other points made by TTMA, we have updated our online report with TTMA’s response that guards in Europe are focused on protecting bicyclists and pedestrians, not automobiles and that NTSB said injuries and deaths “could” be reduced by side guards, instead of “would.” We also have updated campaign finance data, broken out donations from the trucking sector of the transportation industry, and corrected the period during which those donations were made.

I previously wrote about the TTMA’s May 13, 2016 letter to NHTSA about side guards. Read it here.

Despite the TTMA’s objections to the report, the fact remains that almost as many people die from side underride crashes each year as from rear underride crashes. And, furthermore, I have seen with my own eyes the difference that side guards can make in stopping deadly underride.

Will we let the technical and commercial failures of side guard prototypes in the past stop us from keeping at the task of solving this problem? I thank God for people like Aaron Kiefer and Perry Ponder who have kept at it until they successfully proved what human ingenuity could do to save lives.

Note:  In fact, Europe’s side guard standards are designed to protect pedestrians and cyclists — which the U.S. should do, too! But Europe does not require the prevention of cars from underriding trucks. I have been in communication with a global automotive regulation specialist, and I hope that what happens here in the U.S. will have a ripple effect globally.