Tag Archives: collision avoidance technology

Why use the term collision MITIGATION rather than AVOIDANCE?

The American Trucking Association says that they prefer that DOT would focus on collision avoidance technology rather than things like improved underride guards:  http://annaleahmary.com/2014/12/the-passion-of-this-safety-advocate/

I now have a new response to that tiresome attitude toward vital truck safety measures–thanks to this Truckinginfo.com article:  http://www.truckinginfo.com/article/story/2015/10/behind-ups-decision-to-make-collision-mitigation-standard.aspx

“The National Transportation Safety Board recently recommended that all passenger and commercial vehicles use collision avoidance technology. The suppliers of the technology prefer the term ‘collision mitigation,’ because it’s impossible to avoid all accidents, but it can lessen the severity.”

In other words, because we know that we cannot prevent all crashes, it is unimaginable to me that we would not do everything that we could to make those crashes survivable!  http://annaleahmary.com/2015/10/rear-ending-a-truck-should-be-a-survivable-crash-why-isnt-it/


Automated vehicles: A Vision Zero Policy would make sure that SAFETY is the priority in new technology

We need to make sure that all new technologies in the motor vehicle arena are carefully researched. Note the concerns raised here:

“While automated vehicles can reduce traditional road crashes, we need to be prepared for new categories of collision that they will also bring, particularly in the early stages of adoption. One example is incidents caused by drivers’ confusion when changing between different modes of automated operation. This type of error has led to aircraft crashes such as Air France Flight 447 and Eastern Air Lines Flight 401. In each case, pilots misunderstood the status of operation of the autopilot systems and failed to correct the aircraft trajectory before it was too late. Vehicle manufacturers will need to design the control interface carefully to ensure the driver has a clear understanding of the status of the vehicle automation systems and the extent to which they have control over vehicle behaviour.

“There will also be situations where an unavoidable collision occurs, such as a pedestrian running into the road at the last minute. Of course this could also happen with a fully alert and experienced driver at the controls, but the fact that automated systems were in charge of the vehicle will make the issue highly contentious. The advantage will be that determining liability should be easier as data collected by vehicle sensors will provide an accurate, comprehensive audit trail of the scenario.”


Many factors can lead to and affect the outcome of crashes. For example, see this post on our crash: http://annaleahmary.com/2014/07/our-crash-was-not-an-accident/

Let’s get a Vision Zero Policy in place at DOT to ensure that protection of human life & health is always the priority plumbline in new technology decisions.

Sign & Share our Vision Zero Petition now:  http://www.thepetitionsite.com/417/742/234/save-lives-not-dollars-urge-dot-to-adopt-vision-zero-policy/

Car Safety Wars book cover

Vision Zero: Avoiding collisions and “second collisions”

Crash Avoidance is a broad topic and I am just beginning to write about it. The basic idea, of course, is to find a way to reduce the number of crashes that take place on our roads. The question is how to do that.

There are many devices and systems being produced and in the process of being developed which could, in fact, make a big difference in preventing collisions. I hope to find out more about them and to advocate for the implementation and regulation of appropriate crash avoidance technologies on large trucks, as well as cars.

Read this article from February 2015, when safety advocates were urging NHTSA to “initiate a rulemaking that would require forward collision avoidance and mitigation braking (F-CAM) systems on all new trucks and buses rated at 10,000 pounds or more GVW. The lobbies argue that specific technology exists that would markedly reduce truck-related crashes if it were mandated on commercial vehicles.”


In this same article, the ATA made a statement about the safety advocates’ petition:

“Sean McNally, Vice President of Public Affairs for the American Trucking Associations told HDT, that the trucking lobby ‘supports proven safety technologies that prevent crashes and, therefore, save lives. ATA plans to carefully review the data cited in this petition to make an informed decision on the efficacy of the recommended approach.

“’More importantly,’ he continued, ‘any organization truly interested in highway safety should be urging NHTSA to first take action on ATA’s 2006 petition -now almost nine years old – seeking a new rule requiring large trucks to be electronically speed-governed/limited at no more than 65 mph. [That’s] an approach ATA knows would reduce the frequency and severity of crashes.’”

Of course, there is no proof that the truck driver in our crash was going over 65–just going too fast for the traffic conditions.


Our crash: We were driving in the right lane and had slowed down in response to stopped traffic ahead of us (due to another crash two miles ahead that happened two hours earlier). Suddenly, we were hit by a car carrier in the left lane, spun around, and hit again so that we were pushed backward into the rear of the truck ahead of us. A truck driver behind us had noted that the truck driver who hit us was going too fast for the conditions and didn’t look like he was going to be able to stop for the slowdown. And then he saw him hit us.

Charges: One count of failure to maintain lane & 2 counts of homicide by vehicle (2nd degree)


Result: Two lives abruptly ended

The other thing is that I want to emphasize that there are so many factors that lead to crashes and also to deaths and serious injuries that sometimes happen as a result of those collisions. So it is important to not focus on just one of these factors but to take a multi-pronged approach.

Take our crash for example:  http://annaleahmary.com/2014/07/our-crash-was-not-an-accident/ . Could crash avoidance technology, had it been installed on the truck that hit us, have prevented our crash? But the crash did happen and the other thing was that perhaps it would not have had the same outcome if the underride guard had withstood the crash and the back of the truck ahead of us had therefore not made contact with AnnaLeah and Mary who were sitting in the back seat.

Let’s work together to implement every possible safety measure to prevent collisions and“second collisions.”


Vision Zero*: Aim high for Zero Crash Deaths & Zero Serious Injuries

* “Vision Zero is a multi-national road traffic safety project which aims to achieve a highway system with no fatalities or serious injuries in road traffic. It started in Sweden and was approved by their parliament in October 1997.[1] A core principle of the vision is that ‘Life and health can never be exchanged for other benefits within the society’ rather than the more conventional comparison between costs and benefits, where a monetary value is placed on life and health, and then that value is used to decide how much money to spend on a road network towards the benefit of decreasing how much risk.”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vision_Zero

Sign our Vision Zero Petition: http://tinyurl.com/nhb88cq

Underride Research Meme

Donate to Underride Research at AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety:  https://www.fortrucksafety.com/