Tag Archives: comprehensive underride protection

Truck Underride 101: Part III. Cost Benefit Analysis, Underride Rulemaking, and Vision Zero

Becoming educated about underride was not a direction I had planned on going with my life and time. But I have gained a great deal of knowledge related to the fact that AnnaLeah’s and Mary’s deaths (and Roya’s, too, along with countless other individual loved ones) might have been prevented had adequate underride protection been on the truck, into which our sturdy Crown Vic crashed — along with the fact that many more countless, unknown individuals will die unless this country takes decisive action.

This information, along with my unresolved grief due to the frustration of knowing that years have gone by without effective protection, fuels my efforts to work collaboratively to bring about widespread and significant change. It is now my aim to equip everyone with the same information — without the accompanying unwanted grief.

The reason we are devoting our lives to pounding on this door and asking for change is that our daughters may have lost their lives due to the lack of a Vision Zero policy. A decision which concluded that recommended changes would not be cost effective—in other words, that it would supposedly cost more to implement safety measures than the lives saved would be worth—may have led to lax underride guard standards.

If the best possible protection had been pursued when the regulations were last updated (1996), the trucks on the road today (including the one on the road May 4, 2013) might be much safer to be driving around. Mary and AnnaLeah might even still be around.

So, here is Part III of Truck Underride 101.

III. Cost Benefit Analysis, Underride Rulemaking, and Vision Zero

  1. Public Comments on Underrride Rulemaking & Cost/Benefit Analysis: Public Comments Re: Cost/Benefit Analysis in NHTSA Proposed Underride Rulemaking on Rear Guards for Tractor-Trailers & for Single Unit Trucks and       Current NHTSA #Underride Rulemaking (Cost/Benefit Analysis): Summary of Public Comments and http://annaleahmary.com/2016/10/dot-omb-are-you-using-cea-or-cba-rulemaking-road-to-zero-requires-vision-zero-rulemaking/

  2. Jerry Karth’s Public Comments on Underride Rulemaking: Comments on the NPRM for Rear Underride Guards on Trailers and Reflections from a bereaved dad on the Underride Roundtable & what that means for rulemaking

  3. Underride Statistics 

  4. The Future of Trucking: Who pays for the costs of safer roads?

    I thought about all of this, on a recent trip “back home”, as I reflected on the plight of small trucking companies and independent owner-operator truck drivers. Are the costs of owning a company and the pressure to drive many miles creating a situation where they won’t be able to stay in business?

    Frequently, I hear that changes of one kind or another in the trucking industry–in order to improve safety (i.e., reduce crashes, injuries and deaths)–will result in increased costs for the trucking companies. I hear that it will put them out of business.

    Is this true? According to whom and based on what information? If it is true, then does something need to change in the trucking industry itself in order to allow for the beneficial work, which trucking provides, to continue but to also allow for truckers to make a decent living wage–without jeopardizing their health and the safety of travelers on the roads? . . .  Read more here: The Future of Trucking; Who pays for the costs of safer roads?

  5. Whose lives are you going to sacrifice? If decisive action is not taken to end these preventable deaths, then who should we hold responsible? Whose lives are we thereby choosing to sacrifice?

  6. TTMA: Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association Reminds NHTSA Why Side Guards Are Not Cost Effective, May 18, 2016 post:

    Yesterday morning, I checked my email and saw that there was a new Public Comment posted on the Federal Register regarding the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Underride Guards.

    I quickly went to the site and saw that the Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association had posted a comment (see their comments in the PDFs below). Apparently our Underride Roundtable two weeks ago at IIHS has spurred them to spell out the steps which have been taken over the years to squash side guards from being mandated and manufactured to prevent smaller passenger vehicles from riding under trucks upon collision with the side of the larger vehicle.

    TTMA_Side_Impact_Main_Comment_2016-05-13

    TTMA_Side_impact_Exhibits_A-D_2016-05-13

    Their rationale: Cost/Benefit Analysis shows that adding side guard to trucks is “not cost-effective”. From this post: Truck Trailer Manufacturers Ass’n “Reminds” NHTSA: Side Guards Are “Not Cost-Effective” Says Who? 

    I am encouraged by the closing paragraph of the TTMA letter to NHTSA:

    TTMA would support the implementation of side guards if they ever become justified and technologically feasible. We continue to support the NHTSA review of Petitioners’ requests and stand ready to partner in the development of justified and feasible designs if they possibly emerge. Jeff Simms, President

Truck Underride 101: Discussion Topics

I. When Will We Tackle Truck Underride? Truck Underride 101: I. When Will We Tackle Truck Underride?

II. Why Comprehensive Underride Protection? Truck Underride 101: II. Why Comprehensive Underride Protection?

III. Cost Benefit Analysis, Underride Rulemaking, and Vision Zero

IV. Win/Win

V. Bipartisan Discussion of Legislative Strategy

Truck Underride 101: II. Why Comprehensive Underride Protection?

Becoming educated about underride was not a direction I had planned on going with my life and time. But I have gained a great deal of knowledge related to the fact that AnnaLeah’s and Mary’s deaths (and Roya’s, too, along with countless other individual loved ones) might have been prevented had adequate underride protection been on the truck, into which our sturdy Crown Vic crashed — along with the fact that many more countless, unknown individuals will die unless this country takes decisive action.

This information, along with my unresolved grief due to the frustration of knowing that years have gone by without effective protection, fuels my efforts to work collaboratively to bring about widespread and significant change. It is now my aim to equip everyone with the same information — without the accompanying unwanted grief.

So, here is Part II of Truck Underride 101.

II. Why Comprehensive Underride Protection?

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.

RAM CUP: A DIFFERENT STRATEGY
TO ACHIEVE UNDERRIDE PROTECTION
For Such A Time As This

What can we discover from past attitudes or strategies to address underride deaths? Read more hereWhy COMPREHENSIVE Underride Protection Legislation?

  1. International Research and the Underride Roundtable: On May 5, 2016, over 65 representatives from the trucking industry, government, safety advocates, engineers, crash reconstructionists, attorneys, and media will be on hand at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Vehicle Research Center to discuss and demonstrate truck underride crashes.

    In order to prepare for that, I am going to highlight some past and current underride research papers and efforts here. It will, of course, not cover everything and others are welcome to send additional information my way, which I would be more than happy to add to the list.

    Although most of the research below will not appear as a presentation on the agenda, I am hopeful that the information will be considered by all as recommendations for underride protection are discussed and proposed.

    I had actually wanted to put together a packet of this kind of information to hand out to participants. Then I thought that it might be more useful to provide it to a wider audience by posting it on our website. So here it is. . .  Underride Roundtable To Consider Underride Research From Around the Globe

  2. Media Coverage of the first Truck Underride Roundtable held at IIHS on May 5, 2016You will find multiple links below reporting on the Underride Roundtable, which took place on May 5, 2016 at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Vehicle Research Center in Ruckersville Center, co-hosted by them with the Truck Safety Coalition, and our family (AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety).Please note: If you are visiting this site for the first time, please be aware that the reason this Underride Roundtable was organized was because the CURRENT DOT/NHTSA underride standards are TOO WEAK. In way too many cases, even new trucks with underride guards meeting current rules (not just corroded ones) fail and allow underride by a passenger vehicle colliding with them. People die from these kinds of crashes and it has been proven that stronger guards (if required and manufactured) could stop this deadly underride!I know about this because my two youngest daughters, AnnaLeah (17) and Mary (13), died because of this kind of crash on May 4, 2013. I was driving. A truck hit us–spinning us around so that we went backwards into the tractor-trailer ahead of us. AnnaLeah and Mary were in the back seat which went under the truck. They died. I did not. . .

    Knights of the Roundtable: 

  3. Rear Guard Consensus Specifications submitted to NHTSA: Underride Roundtable Led to Recommendations Submitted as a Consensus Public Comment to NHTSA, August 9, 2016

  4. Comprehensive Underride Consensus Petition Letter to Secretary Foxx: 

    In fact, the development of a COMPREHENSIVE approach to taking care of the truck underride problem was probably first planted in my mind at the Underride Roundtable on May 5, 2016, with the suggestion of a member of the trucking industry.

    Read about that here, including the subsequent actions that resulted in a Comprehensive Underride Consensus Petition which a group of us submitted to Secretary Foxx at DOT on September 23, 2016, and upon which the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act of 2017 is based.

  5. The RAMCUP/Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act of 2017 was based upon the months and years of research and collaboration preceding its development:

Truck Underride 101

After our horrific truck crash on May 4, 2013, I learned about truck rear underride guards; I had not heard of them before. Since that time, I have learned many more things about deadly underride and how to prevent it.

Becoming educated about underride was not a direction I had planned on going with my life and time. But I have gained a great deal of knowledge related to the fact that AnnaLeah’s and Mary’s deaths (and Roya’s, too, along with countless other individual loved ones) might have been prevented had adequate underride protection been on the truck, into which our sturdy Crown Vic crashed — along with the fact that many more countless, unknown individuals will die unless this country takes decisive action.

This information, along with my unresolved grief due to the frustration of knowing that years have gone by without effective protection, fuels my efforts to work collaboratively to bring about widespread and significant change. It is now my aim to equip everyone with the same information — without the accompanying unwanted grief.

In the coming days, I will be emailing pieces of information — one at a time (see chart below) — about truck underride to Congress and trucking industry associations. I will also be posting it. Some of it you may already know; some of it may be new to you.

As I have stated before, it is my hope that, now that we have become aware of the tragic but preventable truck underride problem, we will work together swiftly to take decisive action to make sure that trucks are equipped with effective equipment to protect vulnerable road users –pedestrians, bicyclists, and passenger vehicles — from going under the trucks.

My vision is that people will be able to someday drive the roads of this country no longer fearful of riding under a truck, should we be so unfortunate as to collide with one, because they will all be equipped with the best possible underride protection.

Truck Underride 101: Discussion Topics

Underride Discussion Topic/Title

SENT

I. When Will We Tackle Truck Underride?

  1. ToughGuard Award from IIHS

  2. What will it take to convince US that side underride kills/side guards save?

  3. If people die from riding under SUTs, why aren’t they required to have underride protection?

  4. Front Underride Protection

  5. IIHS news release on side underride

  6. Move Heaven & Earth

II. Why Comprehensive Underride Protection?

  1. International Research and the Underride Roundtable

  2. Knights of the Roundtable

  3. Rear Guard Consensus Specifications submitted to NHTSA

  4. Comprehensive Underride Consensus Petition Letter to Secretary Foxx

III. Cost Benefit Analysis, Underride Rulemaking, and Vision Zero

  1. Public Comments on Underrride Rulemaking & Cost/Benefit Analysis

  2. Jerry Karth’s Public Comments on Underride Rulemaking

  3. Underride Statistics

  4. The Future of Trucking: Who pays for the costs of safer roads?

  5. Whose lives are you going to sacrifice?

  6. TTMA: Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association Reminds NHTSA Why Side Guards Are Not Cost Effective

IV. Win/Win

  1. Job Creation

  2. Fuel Savings/Super Truck Project

  3. Underride Protection: RETROFIT

  4. Second Collision: Crash Avoidance/Underride Protection

  5. BOTH/AND and opposing arguments

V. Bipartisan Discussion of Legislative Strategy

  1. Discussion Handouts

  2. Non-negotiables for RAMCUP

  3. COUP/COUP

  4. FORS Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme

Youtube videos

Memes

RAMCUP Capitol Hill Briefing, June 15, 9-noon: Be Part of the Solution to STOP Truck Underride Tragedies

2 Moms are returning to DC with a week full of meetings on The Hill — including meetings with 13 House Transportation Committee Member Offices. Then, on Thursday, June 15, Lois Durso and I will be hosting a Capitol Hill Briefing on the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act of 2017 (RAMCUP) from 9 a.m. to noon. Our goal is to get Congress on board with the importance of this doable plan to end preventable truck underride tragedies.

How You Can Help: We will be providing refreshments to those attending the Briefing and would appreciate donations (not tax deductible) to help us cover the costs. If you can help in this way, please email me at marianne@annaleahmary.com or PM me.

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

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.

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. RAMCUP Capitol Hill Briefing, June 15, 9-noon: Be Part of the Solution to STOP Truck Underride Tragedies2 Moms are returning to DC with a week full of meetings on The Hill — including meetings with 13 House Transportation Committee Member Offices. Then, on Thursday, June 15, Lois Durso and I will be hosting a Capitol Hill Briefing on the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act of 2017 (RAMCUP) from 9 a.m. to noon. Our goal is to get Congress on board with the importance of this doable plan to end preventable truck underride tragedies.

    How You Can Help: We will be providing refreshments to those attending the Briefing and would appreciate donations (not tax deductible) to help us cover the costs. If you can help in this way, please email me at marianne@annaleahmary.com or PM me.

    We will be grateful for any amount. This problem is not going away. . . I just heard about another underride crash in Tennessee this week (http://tinyurl.com/y8m57t9f).

  2. Has FMCSA Done Due Diligence To Appropriately Address Trucking Minimum Liability Insurance Question?After a truck crash killed our daughters, AnnaLeah (17) and Mary (13) on May 4, 2013, we discovered that there were many problems with truck safety, including inadequate trucking liability insurance. In 1980, Congress set the level of liability insurance for trucking companies at a MINIMUM of $750,000. If that were adjusted for inflation, it would be $2,225,643 in 2017. Yet, DOT has not once raised that level in 37 years — thereby jeopardizing the safety of the traveling public.

    In fact, on June 5, 2017, the FMCSA withdrew the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on the Appropriateness of the Current Financial Responsibility and Security Requirements for Motor Carriers, Brokers, and Freight Forwarders, which was intended to raise that minimum. The history of that rulemaking is summarized below. . .

    Sign a Petition Asking for Immediate Action: Protect Vulnerable Travelers: Demand Immediate Increase in Trucking Liability Insurance

  3. 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. . .
  4. 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!
  5. 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. . .
  6. 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.
  7. 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. . .
  8. 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. . .
  9. 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). . .
  10. 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. . .
  11. 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. . .
  12. 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. . .
  13. 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. . .
  14. 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. . .
  15. They fought the good fight, they finished the race. . .
  16. Every Day’s A Holiday With Mary; Joyful Memories of Mary
  17. Amazing Grace Goodbye, AnnaLeah & Mary, With Love From Grandpa
  18. Truck Industry Leaders: “Clarity is probably the biggest need we have so we can plan accordingly.”
  19. AnnaLeah Karth. May 15, 1995 – May 4, 2013. Death by Underride.
  20. Car Dragged By Semi Due To Defective Truck Design
  21. If people die from riding under Single Unit Trucks, why aren’t they required to have underride protection?
  22. 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.

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

 

Truck Industry Leaders: “Clarity is probably the biggest need we have so we can plan accordingly.”

I just read with great interest Trucks.com report on the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo at the Long Beach, Calif.,  convention center this week , where “major industry players pledged to stay the course on advancements in fuel economy and alternative technologies despite regulatory uncertainty.”

Here’s hoping that they will do the same regarding advances in truck safety issues — in particular, underride protection. In fact, several of the comments which I read in that article indicate that our Comprehensive Underride Protection bill is right in line with industry thinking:

  • . . . if there’s a technological path to improve fuel economy, manufacturers are going to pursue it, because those with better fuel economy are going to have a better advantage in the economy,” said Steve Gilligan, vice president of product and vocational marketing of the North American business unit at Navistar International Corp.
  • . . . speakers returned repeatedly to the tangle of regulations governing emissions, innovations and infrastructure. . . “Ten years ago, things were pretty static, but now it’s almost like the automobile industry was back in 1900, when people didn’t know if the vehicles were going to run on steam, whale oil or something else,” said Brian Lindgren, research and development director at Kenworth Truck Co. “If you were a young engineer, this would be an exciting time to be in the truck industry.”
  • Panelists said that coordinating their vehicle development strategy across the various regulations is a priority.
  • Most panelists said they were pushing ahead anyway with fuel-efficient truck designs to satisfy customer demand.
  • But some said they would welcome some streamlining of more complicated, conflicting regulations – if the administration communicated its plans.

    “We’re trying to separate the noise from the facts – clarity is probably the biggest need we have so we can plan accordingly,” Gilligan said.

  • And as tests of platooning and driverless technologies progress and other breakthroughs loom, panelists urged the government to develop cohesive rules that apply nationwide, not just in a patchwork of states.

    “We can demonstrate that technology on the road, but we need a regulatory framework, testing validation and eventually deployment too,” Schaefer said.

Read more here: Trucking Leaders Plan to Stay Course on Phase 2 GHG RegsTIFFANY HSU EDITOR’S PICKS, REGULATION

That preference for a coordinated, comprehensive technological game plan is what was communicated by a trucking industry representative at the Underride Roundtable one year ago on May 5, 2016. And it is what we have worked tirelessly to develop since that time — leading up to the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act of 2017 (RAMCUP).

We are giving them what they asked for — a comprehensive regulatory and technological framework for achieving SAFER trucks — a way to ensure that travelers will no longer be vulnerable victims of Death by Underride.