Tag Archives: IIHS

Understanding Underride II: From the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Here is some basic information on understanding underride from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS):

A panel of experts discuss underride at a Briefing on The Hill, October 12, 2017, to bring greater understanding of the problem and solutions of deadly but preventable truck underride. Matt Brumbelow, a research engineer at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), discusses the problem of truck underride and the research which IIHS has done to study rear and side underride protection.

For more information on the STOP Underrides! Act of 2017, go to http://annaleahmary.com/ and/or https://stopunderrides.org/

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety once again did a fantastic job of hosting the Underride Roundtable. They have now provided us with links to the Second Underride Roundtable held at the IIHS Vehicle Research Center in Ruckersville, Virginia, on August 29, 2017. Here is the agenda, followed by the videos:

Video Links from the Second Underride Roundtable at the IIHS on August 29, 2017

 

 

Video Links from the Second Underride Roundtable at the IIHS on August 29, 2017

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety once again did a fantastic job of hosting the Underride Roundtable. They have now provided us with links to the Second Underride Roundtable held at the IIHS Vehicle Research Center in Ruckersville, Virginia, on August 29, 2017. Here is the agenda, followed by the videos:

Truck Underride Roundtable 2 – Morning Session, Part 1:

 

Truck Underride Roundtable 2 – Morning Session, Part 2:

 

Truck Underride Roundtable 2 – Side Guard Panel:

 

Truck Underride Roundtable 2 – Industry Response and Crash Avoidance Panel:

 

Side Guard Crash Test at 40 mph on August 29, 2017:

 

Side Underride & Side Guard Crash Tests at 35 mph at IIHS on March 30 & 31, 2017:

 

 

David Harkey, Experienced Highway Safety Research Director at UNC, To Be New IIHS President

I sat down this Spring with Dr. David Harkey, Director of the UNC Highway Safety Research Center, to discuss the truck underride problem and the fact that it is a major public health problem and not just a transportation issue. After that, I enthusiastically recommended that he be the keynote speaker at the Second Underride Roundtable on August 20 at IIHS.

So when I found out yesterday that he had been named the new president of the IIHS — replacing the accomplished Adrian Lund, whom I got to meet in March — I was very excited. I look forward to watching him effectively lead that safety organization and help bring us closer to zero deaths.

Read about it here:

 

In underride, first point of contact with the truck is your windshield, then your head.

Just yesterday, as Isaac and I were nearing the end of our road trip from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific coast, Isaac said, “Maybe next time we make this trip, the trucks will look different and be a whole lot safer.”
 
I am very grateful that we are seeing significant progress in underride protection. And the gathering of almost 100 people at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety on August 29 has helped to continue the work of many people to make that possible.
 
Dawn King, president of the Truck Safety Coalition, with photos and video, describes the recent Underride Roundtable at the IIHS and why it was so important. Because a truck underride crash can happen to anyone. To AnnaLeah & Mary. To you or somebody you care about.
 
As Dawn explained,
“When you slide under a trailer your car’s safety features aren’t activated because your front bumper doesn’t hit anything. The first part of your car to come in contact with the trailer is your windshield. And then your head.”
 
“Someday soon the results of lots of peoples dreams will come to fruition. And it will happen because people from all walks of life sat down and talked. Trailer manufacturers, truck companies, safety experts, devastated families, government officials.”
 
Just what I’ve been hoping for:
 
After our crash, Jerry wrote to numerous trailer manufacturing companies asking them to voluntarily step up their underride guard standards. We got some positive response and stirred up interest in companies — to whom he also wrote — who purchase trailers–enlightening them as well. One of the manufacturers, Great Dane, invited us to tour their Research & Design Center on June 25, 2014.
 
Afterwards, I posted this: Underride Guards: Can we “sit down at the table together” and work this out? with this video: “Underride Guards: Now What?” to summarize what I saw as the frustrating lack of progress on improving underride guards and the seeming lack of communication among the various responsible parties with the authority to do something about it.
 
Of course, we weren’t the only ones frustrated with the inaction on what seems to be a drastically-needed change. When we took our 11,000+ signed petitions to DC in May 2014, we met with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). At that time, they put it like this: “It is safer to run into a brick wall than into the back of a truck.” Yet, seemingly, nothing was being done about it. So we helped to organize the first and then the second Underride Roundtable.
 
Now something is being done about it.
 
We don’t have to let this continue to happen. We can do something to prevent deadly truck underride crashes. I’ve put together some ways that YOU, too, can help make trucks safer: http://annaleahmary.com/how-you-can-help/
 
See more video and media coverage here: Media Coverage of the Second Underride Roundtable

History of Truck Underride Recommendations in the U.S.

A senator’s Office recently asked me to provide them with a one-page history of reports and recommendations made on the truck underride problem in the U.S. Here it is (with clickable links):

Truck Underride Reports & Recommendations in the U.S.

Just in: Truck Underride Statistics by State From NHTSA & IIHS

Yesterday I contacted NHTSA and IIHS and asked them if they would be able to look at their data on underride deaths and break them out by State. They both graciously made it a priority and created some new charts, graphs, and a map.

The pdf from NHTSA has data taken from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), by which NHTSA collects information on fatal crashes from each state. This extensive chart covers the time period of 1994 to 2015, showing underride deaths when the initial collision was at the front, side, and rear of trailers — first for the country, followed by a similar format for each state. Numbers are shown one year at a time and then totaled:

Passenger Vehicle Underride Fatalities by State, 1994-2015, by NHTSA

Please remember that it is well-known that underride deaths are under-counted in these charts. In fact, Lois Durso and I both have found that our daughters deaths are not accurately reported in these charts.

We also received a graph of underride deaths by State for 2015 from Matt Brumbelow at the IIHS. Specifically, these are “2015 Passenger vehicle occupant fatalities in 2-vehicle crashes with tractor-trailers.”

Matt asked me to explain further, “that 2015 is still the latest year of data that NHTSA has released.  Also, that while not all these crashes will have involved underride, our estimates based on other studies is that underride occurs in 80-90% of tractor-trailer rear and side crashes with serious/fatal injuries.”

PV Fatalities in Truck Crashes 2015 per IIHS

U.S. Map PV Fatalities Truck Crashes in 2015 per IIHS

I hope that these visual and informative tools will aid us, as a nation, in addressing this tragic but preventable public health problem.

Australian Engineer Comments on U.S. Underride Protection

See a paper by Raphael Grzebieta and George Rechnitzer here: Proposed Australian/New Zealand AS/NZS 3845.2 Standard for Truck Underrun Barriers: Design, Testing and Performance Requirements

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

March Historically a Momentous Month for Truck Underride Safety Advocacy; Beware the Ides of March!

Great Dane Trailer Crash Test at IIHS; Receives Toughguard Award For Improved Rear Underride Guard

I have seen quite a few underride guard crash tests in the last two years. It’s not something I ever planned to do and it is never easy.  Some of them ended in severe underride and it always shakes me up at how quickly life can change forever. In a matter of seconds.

The crash test I viewed at IIHS on January 19, 2017, was particularly hard to watch. It was a test of Great Dane’s newly designed rear underride guard. A Great Dane trailer was what our Crown Vic collided with on May 4, 2013 — with tragic results.

Demonstration of Improvement in Rear Underride Guard; Great Dane Trailers Crash Test at IIHS, January 19, 2017:

They have proven that creative minds can come up with better underride protection. The cars are damaged from the crash, but underride and Passenger Compartment Intrusion (PCI) are prevented. Lives are preserved.

Here is a Youtube video, posted by Cars-Trucks TV, which demonstrates the effectiveness of the improved rear underride guards designed by five of the major trailer manufacturers — Great Dane, Manac, Stoughton, Vanguard, and Wabash — from 2013 to 2017. They received a Toughguard award from IIHS — as announced on March 1, 2017.

Last year, about this time, I posted this: March Historically a Momentous Month for Truck Underride Safety Advocacy; Beware the Ides of March!

Here is an excerpt:  It is my fervent hope that, when March 2017 rolls around, we will be celebrating a vastly improved federal standard–enthusiastically and immediately adopted by the trucking industry–for all-around-the-truck underride protection at higher speeds, including now-exempt single unit trucks as well as retrofitted to existing trucks and trailers.

If this seems like a costly venture, try comparing it to the price paid by thousands upon thousands of individuals and families during the past decades of ineffective underride protection–added to the countless precious people who will be saved in the years to come from tragic, preventable death by underride.

We aren’t finished yet, but we have come a long ways!

IIHS Presents Toughguard Award to 5 Trailer Manufacturers For Voluntary Upgrade of Rear Underride Guard

On March 1, 2017, IIHS announced a new award, Toughguard, given to trailer manufacturers which have passed the IIHS rear underride guard crash testing:

Five North American semitrailer manufacturers earn the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s new TOUGHGUARD award recognizing rear underride guards that are designed to prevent a range of deadly underride crashes. Semitrailers from Great Dane LLC, Manac Inc., Stoughton Trailers LLC, Vanguard National Trailer Corp. and Wabash National Corp. earn the accoladeIIHS recognizes semitrailers with good underride guards

Other articles covering this story:

  1. Trucks.com article: Insurance Institute Launches New Safety Ranking of Truck Trailers
  2. Today’s Trucking article on the Stoughton Press Conference: Activist applauds Stoughton for tougher guards
  3. Trucknews.comStoughton improves rear impact guard
  4. Fleetowner.com: New refrigerated model on the way from Stoughton Trailers
  5. Truckinginfo.com: Stoughton Underride Guard Earns Kudos from Crash Survivor, Insurance Institute

Thank you, IIHS for your commitment to this crash testing project, which has highlighted the continuing underride problem and guided the way to a solution. Thank you, as well, to the trailer manufacturers who have voluntarily improved the rear underride protection on the trailers which they produce and sell (and/or lease).

2 Moms Collaborate With Innovative & Insightful Truck Industry Leaders

After two full days of attending the ATA’s Technology & Maintenance Council conference in Nashville, I am having a hard time figuring out what to talk about first.

It has been very good to spend that time with Lois Durso, a mom who also lost a daughter to truck (side) underride. We first began talking on the phone a couple of weeks ago and planned to meet at the conference. Having a bond of similar grief, we have talked almost non-stop — both about our daughters as well as strategies for truck safety.

In fact, we were both guests of Stoughton Trailers at the conference and they asked me to share our family’s crash story and the safety advocacy which followed, as well as our appreciation of how Stoughton stepped up and voluntarily improved their rear impact guard and are able to offer it as standard on all new dry van trailers — at no added cost or weight penalty to their customers.

Gary Fenton, VP Engineering, Stoughton Trailers, Marianne Karth, Bob Wahlin, CEO Stoughton Trailers

I received a wonderful surprise this morning when I unexpectedly found out that Stoughton now has a rear impact guard (RIG) retrofit kit available for purchase to install as a replacement on all existing (compatible) Stoughton trailers, as far back as 2007. I talked with the Products manager and she roughly estimated the cost to trailer owners to be around $500-600.

I am not indicating that Stoughton’s new RIG is necessarily better than any of the other manufacturers who have also stepped up to the plate and designed rear guards to receive the Toughguard award. But I am commending them for making the safety of the driving public a priority.  In fact, I do not have specific crash test information to rate one new design compared to the others.  At the end of the day, Jerry and I are thankful to the many persons and companies which have helped to bring about this progress in underride protection.

We will continue to advocate for the strongest possible underride protection on all trucks. That, of course, includes side underride protection, which Lois and I discussed with many industry leaders this week. It also means that Single Unit Trucks still need to be addressed, along with front override, retrofitting, maintenance, and identifying the outer limits of underride protection.

We are not done yet. They haven’t seen the last of us. We’ve got more lives to save.

Lois Durso, Dick Giromini, CEO of Wabash Trailers, Marianne Karth

Stay tuned for news from IIHS on trailer manufacturer underride protection awards.

Update: IIHS announcement at 10 a.m. on March 1; Trucks.com article: Insurance Institute Launches New Safety Ranking of Truck Trailers

Other articles covering this story:

  1. Trucks.com article: Insurance Institute Launches New Safety Ranking of Truck Trailers
  2. Today’s Trucking article on the Stoughton Press Conference: Activist applauds Stoughton for tougher guards
  3. Trucknews.comStoughton improves rear impact guard
  4. Fleetowner.com: New refrigerated model on the way from Stoughton Trailers
  5. Truckinginfo.com: Stoughton Underride Guard Earns Kudos from Crash Survivor, Insurance Institute

Thank you, IIHS for your commitment to this crash testing project, which has highlighted the continuing underride problem and guided the way to a solution. Thank you, as well, to the trailer manufacturers who have voluntarily improved the rear underride protection on the trailers which they produce and sell (and/or lease).

Here is a Youtube video, posted by Cars-Trucks TV, which demonstrates the effectiveness of the improved rear underride guards designed by five of the major trailer manufacturers — Great Dane, Manac, Stoughton, Vanguard, and Wabash — from 2013 to 2017.
 
They have proven that creative minds can come up with better underride protection. The cars are damaged from the crash, but underride is prevented and lives are preserved.