Tag Archives: safer roads

How 2 taxi drivers encouraged this traffic safety advocate

While in Washington D.C., I met several taxi drivers. The first one picked me up at Union Station and, because he misunderstood the address I gave him, we ended up having a lengthy conversation — about his family and about my traffic safety advocacy because of my daughters’ deaths due to a truck crash. It was actually healing to have this stranger, a Christian, take my family’s tragedy to heart.

He ended up giving me that ride free and gave me his phone number for rides the next day. It reminded me anew that the Lord was watching over my going out and coming in.

Then, on my ride from my hotel as I headed back home, I got into some conversation with another taxi driver. As we neared Union Station, he noticed a traffic light on a post which someone had turned. He said, “Did you see that?! That could cause a crash. I have to tell a policeman about it.”

I quickly told him my story and how I was in town to make the roads safer. I gave him my AnnaLeah and Mary for Truck Safety card and thanked him for taking the trouble to help make the roads safer.

See. . . we can do this thing together!

Roads Safer

Should executives be jailed for corporate crimes?

Should executives be jailed for corporate crimes? The Center for Auto Safety’s Clarence Ditlow thinks so.

“Ditlow says that the Volkswagen diesel case, for example, is one of the most egregious corporate crime cases in history.

“This is one of the most egregious corporate crimes I have ever seen,” Ditlow said on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour last week.

“Jailed for Corporate Crime”

 

– See more at: http://www.corporatecrimereporter.com/news/200/clarence-ditlow-wants-vw-takata-and-gm-execs-jailed-for-corporate-crime/#sthash.E9vGpM8J.dpuf

Car Safety Wars book cover

Cover of book by Michael Lemov

http://www.amazon.com/Car-Safety-Wars-Technology-Politics/dp/161147745X

Other relevant posts:

  1. http://annaleahmary.com/2015/07/lets-move-from-a-failure-of-compassion-tactics-of-conceal-%C2%AD%E2%80%90delay-%C2%AD%E2%80%90deny-while-fiery-crashes-occur-to-a-vision-of-zero-fatalities/
  2. http://annaleahmary.com/2015/10/when-will-we-figure-out-that-somebodys-getting-away-with-murder/
  3. http://annaleahmary.com/2015/09/gm-settlement-what-will-it-take-to-stop-the-needless-deaths-and-injuries-and-produce-safety-and-justice-lou-lombardo/
  4. http://annaleahmary.com/2015/07/does-manufacturer-of-limo-not-equipped-with-seat-belts-for-all-riders-bear-any-responsibility-for-deaths/

Facing Grief as a Whole Person

Participating in a webinar last night about Essential Oils and Grief got me thinking further about some of my struggles in grieving the traumatic loss of my two youngest daughters, AnnaLeah (17) and Mary (13) in a truck underride crash on May 4, 2013.

It has been such a complicated grief. I know that writing about it along the way has helped me tremendously (not sure what shape I would be in otherwise):

But beyond that, I would like to say that it makes sense to me that approaching grief in a way that addresses the needs of the whole person is most likely to bring about wholeness. That includes taking into account the ways that our spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical needs impact one another.

A book by Dr. Caroline Leaf outlines the ways that our very memories are neurologically impacted by our emotions and that there is an impact of stress on the health of the whole person. Not only that, but she also gives suggestions for how to “detox” and move toward a more healthy lifestyle.

As a part of that webinar I mentioned, I made the comment that I am thankful for the sensory experience which I have known during my grieving by embracing quiet moments of peace in times outside as I breathe in the fresh air and sometimes the fragrance of pine trees or blossoms and become calmer listening to the sounds of the birds or the wind rustling leaves all around. Walking gives me a time away from responsibilities and reminders of the loss–or at least, if I cannot escape reminders entirely I am able to freely express my weeping heart or angry thoughts in the stillness of nature.

And it also makes sense that essential oils could be made a part of the process of promoting whole person healing.

In terms of how I am dealing with the grief spiritually, I know that God allowed their deaths to occur. I also know that He can work to bring good out of their deaths. I have been an obsessive participant in the process as a highway safety advocate because I have observed that God generally does not intervene to protect people from the impact of collisions and that it makes sense that He has given us the brains to figure out what we can do to make people safer.  I also know that nothing I do, or help to bring about, will ever bring them back.

Perhaps it is anger at what has not been done compared to what could be done to protect people from preventable crash fatalities that puts me in a position of helpless frustration. When I think of all the things which could have resulted in a different outcome, it leaves me with a roaring rage at the senselessness of their deaths. How can that ever lead to lasting peace?

Just yesterday, I was on an errand and took a different route than usual–because a major year-long construction project had just finished. As a result, I passed by a house which we had considered renting when we first moved to this city. The thought came to me that if we had rented that house, instead of the one we were living in on May 4, 2013, then we probably would not have been at that exact spot in our journey when the truck driver made the fatal mistake of hitting a car. If only. . .

Of course, I understand that there are so many things out of my control and that no one is guaranteed a long life. Nonetheless, I am quite certain that if we had left the restaurant 5 minutes earlier, AnnaLeah and Mary might be with us still today. Or if underride guards had been made stronger or the driver had been paying better attention (no matter what the reason was that he wasn’t). . .

http://annaleahmary.com/2014/07/our-crash-was-not-an-accident/

Perhaps that line of thinking won’t get me any closer to accepting their deaths and being okay with their loss and mine. But it gives me an ongoing purpose of promoting safer roads through Vision Zero advocacy efforts to prevent loss and grief for others, as well as devoting my efforts to preserving the memories of two girls who knew how to love and laugh.

AnnaLeah and Mary

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Digital photo/video montage of the countless people who have had their lives cut short by a tragic crash.

How did you react when you heard our crash story? I have been thinking about that a lot this week.

On Saturday, we heard other crash stories at Truck Safety Coalition’s Sorrow to Strength conference in Arlington, Virginia. It is hard to hear the same problems with truck safety over and over again and know that too many things are not getting any better. Yes, we heard of the successes over the years. But some of these families have been advocating for safer roads for over 20 years–including for safer underride guards.

17 Video Stories from past conferences http://trucksafety.org/get-involved/personal-stories/

Something’s wrong with this picture.

On Monday morning, Isaac and I met with Russ Rader at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s DC office. We discussed some of the details for the Underride Roundtable that we are planning with them for May 2016 at their Ruckersville, Virginia, conference & crash testing center. I am getting excited as it is getting closer to becoming a reality.

We arrived early for our meeting and, while we were waiting to start, we sat in the reception area, drank some water, and watched the video loop which they show on a wall monitor. I have seen many of their crash test videos before but learned many new things. It had my attention.

https://www.youtube.com/user/iihs/videos

Later that afternoon, Isaac and I joined other Truck Safety Coalition volunteers for meetings at DOT with FMCSA and NHTSA. As we got off the elevator, Scott Darling, FMCSA Administrator, pointed out the framed photo collage of truck safety victims (a fraction of the total number) which was presented to them in 2009. FMCSA staff see it every day as they pass by on their way to work.

Montage Honoring Truck Crash Victims  http://truckcrashlawyers.com/jeff-burns-national-truck-safety-advocacy

The next morning, when I woke up, an idea came to me: create a video loop (which could be updated) of crash victim stories and raise money to put it on monitors throughout DOT. I told Isaac about my idea and he said that it should be on The Hill as well.

Then, as we headed for our meetings on The Hill, we encountered rush hour traffic at the Metro. People piled into the first train that stopped and it was so full that they were packed like sardines and the door couldn’t even shut until the riders pushed themselves closer together.

Washington DC October 2015 019Washington DC October 2015 013Washington DC October 2015 017

The woman just in front of me, who was a regular Metro commuter, commented that one time she had seen someone’s backpack get stuck in the door. We continued to talk and, after getting on the next train, eventually got a seat next to each other some stops later.

She asked me about the buttons on my lanyard:

Photo button 003

When I told her that two of my daughters were killed in a truck crash, she had tears in her eyes and held my hand. Imagine the power of our story and the impact it could have on the future of highway safety.

I want the faces and voices of once-alive truck crash victims and their surviving families to be seen and heard daily throughout Washington, DC. And then just maybe we will have their attention so that, armed with facts and figures and reasonable solutions, we will be able to bring about dialogue to solve trucking safety problems which take into account the needs of the industry without unnecessarily sacrificing the lives of our families.

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.”

http://www.brake.org.uk/blog/entry/automatedvehicles

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

Be a part of the Underride Solution. Share our story with your local media.

Our family had a paper route for 13 yrs.–afternoons during the week & mornings on the weekend. All 9 kids were involved. We know all about getting out the news–rain or shine, hail or white-out!

Tomorrow, our local paper in NC will be publishing an article about AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety & our Vision Zero Petition. Please share the news with your local media so that people in your community can become aware & help our effort. Stay tuned for details; we will post the link.

Note: The article in the Rocky Mount Telegram will actually be delayed until next week due to the storm. Here are some previous articles on our story by Brie Handgraaf.

paper route74f Mary and family dress up (2)

74f Mary and family dress up (4) 74f Mary and family dress up (3)

Australian engineers champion the cause of better truck underride protection

I have spoken and corresponded with George Rechnitzer and Raphael Grzebieta from the Transport and Road Safety (TARS) Research Centre in Sydney. I have also written about their work on underride protection in Australia.

Yesterday, I received from them a copy of their submission to the Public Comments on the Underride Protection of Single Unit Trucks. It is worth a read to find out what is being said in other countries about this vital issue.

NHTSA-Docket-Submission-Grzebieta&Rechnitzer 20 Sept 2015

Here are some highlights:

    • Whilst there are force based design rules, e.g. in USA, Canada and Europe, it is apparent that these rules are inadequate. In our submission we strongly recommend crash test based performance requirements for under-run protection catering for both centred and off-set impact.
      Around 10 people per year on average are killed in Australia in rear under-run crashes resulting in horrific injuries such as decapitation.13 Yet the Regulation Impact Statement (RIS)14 for Underrun Protection publish by the Vehicle Safety Standards Branch at the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government in July 2009 recommended that only front under-run protection be applied to all rigid and articulated trucks. Their conclusion was that the cost-benefit ratio for frontal under-run barriers was greater than one whereas for side and rear under-run the benefit was negative, and hence such protection should not be mandated in an Australian Design Rule. Yet despite these numerous calls for changes over the past three decades, we continue to consistently kill people in such crashes, ignoring the fact that practical low cost effective under-run barriers can be fitted. That is the real unforgivable tragedy.
    • The Vison Zero and Safe System approach adopted by most of the world now and on which Towards Zero Deaths is anchored, boldly moves away from the economic- rationalist ‘cost-benefit’ models (cited in this Docket as still being used by NHTSA), to a humanistic more rational model. The important aspect of a ‘Vision Zero’ principle is that it introduces ‘ethical rules’ to guide the system designers. In other words:
      Life and health can never be exchanged for other benefits within the society
      Whenever someone is killed or seriously injured, necessary steps must be taken to avoid similar events.
    • The Authors of this submission would further point out to those at NHTSA considering how the Rear Impact Protection for Single Unit Trucks should be revised; they should consider placing themselves in the position of the gentleman being asked in the following Australian Government advertisement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsyvrkEjoXI&feature=youtu.be. This advertisement was commissioned and paid for by the Victorian State Government in Australia. We would ask the NHTSA staff responsible for this NPRM which members of their family would they allocate to die that would be acceptable to them and would meet the NHTSA cost benefit ratios being considered?

  • To break the impasse between safety stakeholders and regulators, the Authors of this submission have proposed to incorporate into the revision of the ASNZS3845.2 Australian Road Safety Barrier Systems and Devices a crash test performance requirement for rear under-run barriers for heavy trucks, shortly to be released for public comment. In that standard test requirements for under-ride barriers, called Truck Under-run Barriers (TUBs), has been developed and now included. We hope that this standard will be approved by committee members (members include Australian State Government regulators) and hopefully will be published in early 2016. The tests requirements are in part based on the US Manual for Assessing Road Hardware (MASH) and are presented below.
    We would strongly recommend that NHTSA consider such dynamic performance tests when they deliberate their development of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard for under-ride barriers.
  • TUB’s are designed to prevent a vehicle impacting the rear of a stationary truck under-riding the back of the truck in a manner where the truck structure intrudes into the impacting vehicle’s occupant compartment. The TUB’s main function is to protect the occupants in the impacting vehicle.
  • If the car is designed to such ANCAP and IIHS test protocols with the maximum crashworthiness rating, it is likely that the occupants would not sustain serious injuries in a vehicle impacting such a TUB in the configurations shown in Figure 1.
  • The manufacturers of such TUBs and operators of heavy vehicles are encouraged to explore the application of energy absorbing systems for TUBs including rear air bags mounted on the rear of trucks.

This latter recommendation is relevant to our goal of seeking research money to provide to Dean Sicking whose proposal intends to do just that: explore the application of the SAFER Barrier — an energy absorbying system — to the prevention of truck underride tragedies.

Dean Sicking’s Research Proposal: Development of Trailer Underride Preventive Measures

As soon as their Public Comment is published, I will post a link so that you can read the entire document online for a better understanding of their detailed analysis and proposal for crash test based performance requirements for truck underride protection, for both centred and off-set impact, in contrast to the force based design rules in the current U. S. federal underride standards. The Australian recommendations are based on 30 years of research and experience. (Note: the document in its entirety can be accessed at the top of this post.)

The formal period for submission of Public Comments ends today, September 21, 2015. Upon the request of several groups, I made a request that the period be extended for a short time. That request is under consideration by the agency. All published Public Comments can be found at this site, which is updated as submissions are made:  http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;dct=FR+PR+N+O+SR;rpp=10;po=0;D=NHTSA-2015-0070

George Rechnitzer and Raphael Grzebieta have, unfortunately, faced similar challenges in Australia in trying to persuade the powers that be to make rules which would prevent unnecessary and horrific deaths and injuries. However, they  are encouraged by potential upcoming changes in their country:

To break the impasse between safety stakeholders and regulators, the Authors of this submission have proposed to incorporate into the revision of the ASNZS3845.2 Australian Road Safety Barrier Systems and Devices a crash test performance requirement for rear under-run barriers for heavy trucks, shortly to be released for public comment. In that standard test requirements for under-ride barriers, called Truck Under-run Barriers (TUBs), has been developed and now included. We hope that this standard will be approved by committee members (members include Australian State Government regulators) and hopefully will be published in early 2016.

Other posts on their work include:

We look forward to working with George and Raphael at the Underride Roundtable in the Spring of 2016 and know that our country can greatly benefit from their expertise.

Underride Research Meme

WarsawINFilmPhotographer_MIMemoria_Film_063

Donate toward the  Underride Roundtable & Research Now: https://www.fortrucksafety.com/

Be a part of this timely push to prevent unnecessary deaths.

It could save someone you love.

Let’s Move From: “A Failure of Compassion, & Tactics of Conceal-­‐Delay-­‐Deny While Fiery Crashes Occur” to a “Vision of Zero Fatalities”

Chrysler and the Defective Design of Jeeps with Unsafe Fuel Tanks …..
A Failure of Compassion, and Tactics of Conceal-­‐Delay-­‐Deny While Fiery Crashes Occur
by Byron Bloch, Auto Safety Expert, Potomac, Maryland
www.AutoSafetyExpert.com   Byron@AutoSafetyExpert.com
Presentation at National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
NHTSA Public Hearing on July 2nd, 2015 -­‐-­‐-­‐Washington, D.C.

“From my perspective of about 50 years in the auto safety trenches, I’ve seen that NHTSA has too often been a slowly reactive agency, rather than being pro-active in analyzing vehicle design and performance in real-world accidents.

I’ve seen where automaker documents produced in product-liability court cases reveal that the company has known of the dangers and safety defects for many years, but preferred to conceal that knowledge, then delay its release, and then deny that it ever knew what the documents revealed.

The Chrysler secretly-negotiated deal with NHTSA, without any public hearing, to provide trailer hitches as a so-called recall fix to improve fuel tank protection, but only in low-speed accidents, makes a mockery of what should be done.

Look instead to what NASCAR and helicopters and military aircraft utilize for fuel tank safety, and you’ll see safety technology that could and should be utilized. But that would require compassion… and that’s not yet a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard.

Let’s together join forces to fight for safer vehicles for us all, with the vision of zero fatalities… by preventing vehicle accidents, and by more crashworthy vehicles to protect occupants when accidents occur, and by the elimination of needlessly unsafe and defective designs.

Thank you.” Byron Bloch

Preach it, brother! (Fine Print: And that includes truck underride guards! http://annaleahmary.com/2015/06/truck-underride-prevention-research-too-long-neglected-how-long-will-this-highway-carnage-continue/ )

Chrysler and Defective Design of Jeeps with Unsafe Fuel Tanks

Safety is not a priority 002

Different Version of Highway Safety Bill by Republicans and Democrats Reflect Different Vision of Public Safety Needs in Response to the Largest Vehicle Safety Recalls in History and Mounting Truck Crash Deaths and Injuries:  Safety Advocates JOINT STATEMENT 7-10-2015

Care for Crash Victims Monthly Report July 2015

Crash Fatalities by State 2013

Help us prove that deadly truck underride can be prevented using NASCAR SAFER Barrier concepts!

Imagine a world where a race car crashes into SAFER* Barrier soft-wall technology and a race car driver climbs out of the smashed car–waving to a cheering crowd. (It happens at most every NASCAR racetrack!)

* SAFER = Steel And Foam Energy Reduction

Now imagine a world where a car regrettably crashes into a much larger truck and SAFER technology prevents it from riding underneath the truck. The car driver and passengers get out of their mangled car–shaken up but thankful to be alive and able to tell their story.

Help us make this a true story! Every $1 donated for truck underride research through AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety  will bring us closer to the goal of preventing deadly underride crashes.

AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  We are eligible to receive contributions that may be tax deductible for the donor.

Donate online NOW on this site: https://www.fortrucksafety.com/

Then SHARE this need. Thank you for your help.

To read about AnnaLeah’s & Mary’s story, go here:http://annaleahmary.com/about/ 

For details about the underride guard issue, go to:http://annaleahmary.com/underride-guards/

 

Underride Research Meme

After the success of the AnnaLeah & Mary Stand Up For Truck Safety Petition, our daughter, Rebekah, set up a Twitter account  to help us raise awareness about truck safety issues.

As I was browsing Tweets one day, I was intrigued by a “Thank you!” to Dr. Dean Sicking for SAVING MANY LIVES through the SAFER barrier he designed for NASCAR:

Great shout out to one of the major safety innovators in auto racing. How many lives has Dean Sicking’s work saved? http://usat.ly/1E21Xws 

I called Dean and told him our story; then I asked him if he thought he could use the same technology to design safer underride guards on trucks. He said, “Yes!” And, a few weeks later, he sent me a detailed proposal for an underride prevention research project:

Development of Trailer Underride Preventive Measures

The only problem is that there is no one putting money toward underride research. Not a priority. So, we are launching a fundraising campaign to raise at least $200,000 to fund:  Dr. Sicking’s Underride Research Project ($138,040)–along with  College Underride Senior Design Projects (including a team of six students at Virginia Tech), and additional promising underride research by engineers who share our concern about the current underride problem and think that they can come up with an effective solution. Crash testing at IIHS for any prototypes developed could cost $25,000 for the purchase of a trailer and a car.

Plans are also underway for an Underride Roundtable in Spring 2016 to bring together engineering experts and industry representatives. We also hope to publish a compilation of all this underride research to be made available in print as well as digital format.

Please help us prevent future unnecessary deaths due to underride crashes. Every $1 contributed to this cause will enable us to support vital underride research, which will make it possible to make safer trucks and thereby save other families the heartache of such tragic loss that we know all too well.

Donate online NOW. https://www.fortrucksafety.com/

Please share this opportunity by any means you can, including the sharing buttons on the donation site or by this clickable & printable AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety Underride Research brochure:  ALMFTS Underride Guard Research Brochure

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has been instrumental in researching and reporting on underride crash testing and our story: IIHS Status Report October 2014

Watch how Dean Sicking’s SAFER Barrier soft-wall technology protected Danica Patrick from suffering the same fate as Dale Earnhardt:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The “Second Collision” Does Not Have To Be So Prevalent. We can do better at preventing death & horrific injuries.

Michael Lemov, in his book Car Safety Wars, sheds light on what has been responsible for so many deaths from vehicular crashes. The automotive industry has long claimed that “Safety doesn’t sell,” and consequently too-often did not include safety features in their vehicles. As a result, too many people have died from what has come to be known as the “second collision.”

Lemov describes it this way:

“During the first six decades of the twentieth century the American automobile industry seemed wedded to the idea that safe design was not its responsibility. There was no public demand, it was said, for safer automobile design. Nor did the industry seem to think it had much responsibility to inform the public about the risks of vehicle design and the omissions such as lap and shoulder belts.

“In the years before the enactment of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act in 1966, better-designed motor vehicles might have saved millions of drivers and passengers from death and injury in what had by then become known as the ‘second collision.’ This is the collision of the driver and passengers with the interior of their own vehicle during a crash.

“The basic physics of the ‘second collision‘ were described by Hippocrates in the fourth century BC when he contrasted the greater severity of wounds inflicted by a sharp penetrating object with the less-serious wounds produced by a blunt weapon. This established that when force is distributed over a larger area (say by safety belts over the shoulders, chest, and pelvis) rather than a small area (the face or head of a driver or  passenger) the force per unit of area is much less.

“Similarly, two centuries before the invention of the automobile, Sir Isaac Newton defined the relationship between velocity and deceleration of a moving object. Simply put, the greater the distance over which vehicle deceleration occurs the less injurious the force that is imparted to the occupant body, such as the head and neck. For example, the two-foot deformation, or crushing of the front end of a vehicle, is the stopping distance of an unrestrained passenger before striking the interior of the vehicle. In the same car, the stopping distance of the same passenger wearing a lap-shoulder belt, would be much greater, as the car decelerates over many feet, causing less injurious forces to the neck, skull, and body.5

“Detroit automotive engineers, of course, knew about these principles and problems of the physics of automobiles. Since at least the 1930s they had also known of some promising solutions.6 But their employers who called the shots were deterred either by cost, perceived engineering problems, or marketing considerations from doing anything much about applying them. Mostly the companies sold annual styling changes and more horsepower.7

“The reaction of the motor vehicle industry, dominated by General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler, to the increasing toll of death and injury (from about 33,000 deaths per year in 1950 to 53,000 in 1969)–was consistent. The manufacturers placed primary blame on the driver and on driver attitudes.” (Car Safety Wars; One Hundred Years of Technology, Politics & Death, by Michael R. Lemov, pp. 49-50)

Unfortunately, a similar attitude toward safety and truck underride guards has probably meant that underride prevention technology has been woefully inadequate and many people may well have unnecessarily died as a result.

In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has told us in person that, “It is safer to run into a brick wall than into the back of a truck.” This is due to the fact that if you run into a brick wall with a vehicle equipped with a crush zone, that crush zone is able to go into effect and protect the occupants. However, if a vehicle hits the back of a truck and the underride guard fails, the vehicle goes under the truck so that the passenger compartment is intruded upon and the crush zone (air bags and seat belts) is not allowed to operate as designed.

George Rechnitzer, a professor and researcher from Australia who has done research with Transport and Road Safety Research (TARS) believes that the underride problem can be solved. In 2003, he authored this dissertation: The Improvement of Heavy Vehicle Design To Reduce Injury Risk In Crashes With Other Road Users.   https://www.filesanywhere.com/fs/v.aspx? (2003)v=8b6a69875e67767ca2a4

In the introduction, Rechnitzer says that,

“The thesis concludes with presenting the important concept that crash protection for
occupants is a function of the nature of the interface between the impacting vehicles
and /or the person. This hypothesis provides an alternate perspective on what is feasible
in occupant protection in severe impact scenarios. It clearly shows that contrary to a
common view in road safety, vehicle mass per se is not the major determinate of injury
outcomes. Indeed this thesis demonstrates that injury protection is feasible against high mass vehicles be they trucks, trams or trains, by appropriate design of the interface between impacting objects.

Here are crash tests of the underride prevention protection designed by George Rechnitzer:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLsx40j16tnkR8qrxDY9IVQ .

Deadly second collisions do not have to be so prevalent; we can do this better!

Trip North May 2015 154