Tag Archives: side guards

Stay tuned for results of the March 30 & 31 Side Underride/Guard Crash Tests at IIHS

We were privileged to attend the first crash test into the side of a semi-trailer at IIHS on March 30. The AngelWing side guard successfully prevented underride and Passenger Compartment Intrusion (PCI).

In other words, the people in the car would have been saved from catastrophic injuries!

The IIHS also crashed a car at 35 mph into the side of a trailer without a side guard. Stay tuned for the devastating results of that crash compared to the amazing difference with a side guard.

Underride Roundtable Planning Group members who attended the March 30, 2017, IIHS side guard crash test: Lois Durso, John Lannen, Andy Young, Marianne Karth, Jerry Karth, Perry Ponder, Robert Martineau

Previous 2012 side guard video from Perry Ponder, with his AngelWing invention:

Side Guard Petition Comment Uncovers Yet One More Family Devastated by Preventable Side Underride

I just noticed a comment on the Side Guard Petition from signer #1537:

My dad, Richard Yancoskie, died January 28th 2015, in an underride accident, although the driver was ultimately at fault side guards would have saved my dad’s life. . .34 mph at the point of impact and also no airbags ever deployed because we have been told the sensors were above the point of impact, I have contacted several government agencies about the importance of implementing side guard rails but have yet to be successful. . . please feel free to contact me. I want to help any way I can.

I am sorry to hear of her family’s loss and yet one more life cut too short. I hope to get in touch with her and am quite sure that she will be able to lend a hand in the effort to end preventable side underride deaths.

Join over 9,000 signers of the Side Guard Petition:  http://www.thepetitionsite.com/251/762/472/end-deadly-side-underride-crashes-mandate-side-guards-on-large-trucks/

When is it acceptable to give up the quest to end preventable crash deaths?

I posted recently about the Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association letter to NBC News about their investigative report on side guards in a recent Today Show.

NBC News Updates Article on Today Show Side Underride Report

Here is a comment on that post from a friend, Michelle Novak, who lost her nephew, Chuck Novak, due to a truck crash:

The Truck Trailer Manufacturing Association appears to have been upset over the report by NBC on the lack of under-ride guards on semi trailers in the US–though they are standardized in Europe.

They complain that the ones produced here up to now, are “technical and commercial failures.”

They also include quite the protest as to their political contributions–specifying that they’ve made none–regarding side- and rear-guards. That seems as though they protest too much.

The question Marianne Karth rightly raises: does the fact that there hasn’t been a successful one created yet– by an industry that maintains a lack of financial or political incentive to create one–mean the problem can’t ever be solved?

We all know the answer: and Marianne Karth and her family have been spending a heck of a lot of time and effort bringing together people and ideas to create prototypes which even this association can’t avoid forever.

This shouldn’t be the job of a surviving victim, who was injured in the crash that took two of her daughters.

But the letter from the Trailer Manufacturers should give you an idea of why it’s fallen to a victim who has dedicated her life to creating something very do-able for large corporations.

If they had incentive, that is. And killing people isn’t incentive enough.

If you’d like to help Marianne get this done, and help save pedestrians, babies in strollers, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and cars pushed under trailers by other cars, or those who run under for any number of reasons, click on her site. She’s got a lot of great information and updates on the progress on here.  https://www.facebook.com/michellem.novak.7/posts/343570059376617

Note: I recently viewed another crash test and the engineers who worked on the rear guard design mentioned that this successful design was #66 in a series of tries at “getting it right.”

What if they had given up after one, ten, forty, or sixty-five attempts?

NBC News Updates Article on Today Show Side Underride Report

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

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

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

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

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

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

Perfect Opportunity to Transform SuperTruck Into An ESV To Advance Underride Protection; DOT & DOE?

I learned this week about the money being poured into the SuperTruck project administered by DOE. I can’t get past amazement that they have not included safety goals in this project. Here is the perfect opportunity to transform the SuperTruck into an Experimental Safety Vehicle (ESV) — without having to do it as a totally new project.

Okay, I can get past it because I am not going to stop until I find answers to my questions and agreement to transform this into an interagency collaborative effort to save fuel/costs and, by the way, lives, too!

I will be in Washington, D.C., anyway on March 1 for a Road to Zero Coalition quarterly meeting. How about I find a way to instigate a joint meeting at that time between DOE, DOT, and someone from a Transportation Committee on The Hill? Like maybe Senator Thune?

This emphasizes the need for a White House Traffic Safety/Vision Task Force to facilitate better collaboration and communication on matters related to road safety, including establishing a position of Traffic Safety Ombudsman to be a vigilant voice for vulnerable victims of vehicle violence. Not to mention the better application of trucking industry money toward joint safety efforts in projects like this, including establishing and funding an Underride Specialist/Consultant/Researcher/Engineer to work full-time on these issues, with a budget to do safety testing at places like the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Here is our chance to harness the resources of our government and creative minds in the trucking industry to advance comprehensive and effective underride protection on large trucks. What are we waiting for?

Haven’t we waited long enough already?

https://energy.gov/articles/energy-department-announces-137-million-investment-commercial-and-passenger-vehicle

Boost efficiency? What about saving lives?

Comments From Petition Signers On The Push To Get Side Guards On Large Trucks

Every signature on our Side Guard Petition helps us take the message to our country’s leaders that we want effective side underride protection on all trucks. They don’t need to add a comment. But I found it interesting, when I checked the petition this morning, to find quite a few comments added.

For example,

I am one of the lucky ones. In a Buffalo suburb, the semi in front of me rotated 90 degrees and was headed north on an east-west Interstate. I barely had time to think of my family, and Jayne Mansfield. Fortunately, I was able to aim my car at the “head end” of the rig. My Alfa Romeo and my seat belt protected me well while the rear end of the car (I was told later) left the ground on impact. Although it happened back in the late 1970s, I often recall that frightening moment when I pass a semi on a highway. I look under the side of the trailer and wonder why there are no side guards.

and,

My daughter which is 4 years old & I had a semi pull out in front of us from off the side of the shoulder on a roadway to do a “U-turn” & the semi driver obviously didn’t see my car & proceeded. Thank gosh my brakes worked really good cause if they didn’t we would’ve been the next victims. But driving now these days it always haunts me the vision I had that day of my daughter & I being killed because of the stupidity of that 1 semi driver! This law needs to be passed & I stand strongly on this issue!

and,

It is salient that this protection will save lives. It is also salient that the trucking industry contributes millions to politicians so they can save money on truck modifications. I got a message to the industry: Stop paying off politicians and channel that money into safety rails. And to the politicians: Represent us the people, not the trucking industry. We are watching you.

and,

I have two degrees in Driver and Traffic Safety and taught Driver Education for 30 years. I don’t care if it “would” or “could” save lives. Anything to help protect us is worth the effort and cost.

and,

simple safety feature that will save lives

See more here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/251/762/472/end-deadly-side-underride-crashes-mandate-side-guards-on-large-trucks/

Clearly, this safety measure makes sense to people. What do you think?

DOE pours millions into SuperTruck fuel savings research projects; $0 devoted to side underride protection?

How is it that the DOE and Volvo poured resources into research and development of SuperTrucks but did not bother to (as far as I can tell, though I am not done looking into this yet) include improved underride protection as a goal of this project?!

  1. http://www.truckinginfo.com/ channel/fuel-smarts/news/ story/2016/09/volvo-s- supertruck-exceeds-epa- freight-efficiency-goals.aspx
  2. I have not been able to get Wabash to return my communications. I am trying to find out if they did any crash testing with their full-length skirts or what material it is made out of: http://news. wabashnational.com/wabash- national-demonstrates- concepts-for-next-generation- aerodynamic-solutions-on- navistars-supertruck
  3. DOE’s Navistar : http://www.truckinginfo.com/ news/story/2016/09/navistar- supertruck-beats-doe- efficiency-goals-hits-13-mpg. aspx
  4. Aerodynamic improvements that reduce the trailer’s drag coefficient by more than 30%. The vehicle is part of the DOE’s SuperTruck program – a five-year research and development initiative aimed at improving freight efficiency, based in the measure of the payload carried while burning less fuel.

Its objective is to develop and demonstrate a 50% improvement in overall freight efficiency on a Class 8 tractor-trailer vehicle as measured in ton-miles per gallon of diesel fuel.

Could they not have combined resources with DOT to accomplish such a thing?

Again, cost-savings over life-savings.

Can we use the potential fuel efficiency cost-savings of side guards advantageously to win the cost/benefit analysis battle?

Super Truck II is announced! Let’s get DOT to be involved with this project! $20,000 fuel savings/year could go to safety research!!!!!!!!!!!!

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz was present for the unveiling of Volvo’s SuperTruck concept/demo rig in Washington, D.C. Here’s what he had to say about reaching the DOE’s next step in the fuel economy/freight efficiency project: SuperTruck II. http://www.truckinginfo. com/video/detail/2016/09/on- the-spot-reaching-for- supertruck-ii-video.aspx

More information on this SuperTruck project and random frustrated reactions:

$20 million in federal funding for the Super Truck II project and we can’t get diddly for side guard research?!?!?!!?!

http://www.truckinginfo.com/channel/fuel-smarts/news/story/2016/08/volvo-group-outlines-supertruck-ii-plans.aspx  Volvo Group has outlined how it plans to use $20 million in federal funding to further the freight-moving efficiency of heavy-duty trucks as part of the SuperTruck II initiative.

Volvo Group said its team of researchers and engineers will use alternative engine designs and an integrated system approach to build a lightweight tractor-trailer concept that will exceed the freight efficiency goal of 100% improvement on a ton-mile-per-gallon basis compared to a 2009 baseline. The team is also tasked with demonstrating powertrain capable of 55% brake thermal efficiency. Volvo Group and its partners will match the development funds dollar-for-dollar.

To achieve these goals, the company plans to leverage its experience in vehicle development along with established partnerships with advanced technology and trailer equipment vendors.

Those partners include Michelin Americas Research Company for tires, Wabash National for trailers, Metalso for lightweight frames, Johnson-Matthey for exhaust aftertreatment systems, and Peloton Technology for platooning and connected vehicle tech. . .

Daimler Trucks North America will develop and demonstrate a tractor-trailer combination using a suite of technologies including active aerodynamics, cylinder deactivation, hybridization, and the electrification of accessories. . .

For more information on the DOE’s alternative fuel technology investment, click herehttps://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/vehicle-technologies-office

Related: DOE Commits $137M to Advance Fuel-Efficient Tech  http://www.truckinginfo.com/channel/fuel-smarts/news/story/2016/08/doe-commits-137-million-to-advance-fuel-efficient-tech.aspx

Yet more disturbing information:

This gives links to multiple articles on the SuperTruck project: http://www.truckinginfo.com/list/tag/supertruck.aspx

Trailer aerodynamics have become increasingly important in recent years as truck operators see that they can save fuel money. They’re so important that the federal government is paying several teams of truck and trailer makers to design concept rigs that show what’s possible in this area of science.

As far back as the 1980s I’ve written about various types of trailer aero fairings, from Nose Cones to TrailerTails and many brands of skirts and other appendages in between.

Here’s one I don’t recall writing about, at least not lately: the UnderTray and other products from SmartTruck. The company has posted a YouTube video depicting a tractor-trailer moving through the air at highway speed, with streamlines showing how the devices smooth air flow over the vehicle. Check it out here

Also note the Diffuser, SmartTruck’s device mounted ahead of the rear underride guard that redirects air away from its vertical and horizontal members. These otherwise grab at the air and create drag. (Old timers still call this the “ICC bumper” because the old Interstate Commerce Commission required them, something I definitely don’t recall being a fact, but it’s part of trucking vocabulary.)

The trailer portion of Freightliner’s SuperTruck of course got large panels that improve air flow around corners, deep skirts to keep air away from the Strick van’s undercarriage and tandem, and a boat tail similar to a Trailer Tail, but home-made. One would expect all of those.

What?!?!?!?!?!?! All of this government money going into research & development for fuel savings but not a word or project related to underride protection/SAFETY?!

See recent Public Comments to NHTSA. You, too, can speak up to end preventable truck underride.

You, too, can let NHTSA know what you want them to do about the problem of preventable truck side underride. In addition to signing the Side Guard Petition which we have launched online, you can also post a comment directly to NHTSA on the Federal Register.

Although the official Public Comment period is closed, comments will still be posted and taken into consideration by NHTSA, as they have not yet put together a Final Rule on truck underride protection.

I have received notifications the last few days regarding new postings to the Federal Register of Public Comments from people asking DOT/NHTSA to mandate side guards! I am assuming that this is in response to my request for people to do so to help bring about change. 🙂 See the recent Public Comments here:

You can do it, too! SUBMIT a Public Comment to DOT/NHTSA here: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NHTSA-2015-0118 After you get to this site, click on the COMMENT NOW button.

Don’t forget to sign the Side Guard PETITION

Side Underride Deaths Need To Be Addressed Now; To do otherwise would be negligent & unconscionable.

Would the current freeze on federal rulemaking mean that there could be no action taken to initiate side underride protection [side guards] rulemaking? It is my understanding that rulemaking related to health and safety is allowable. And, in fact, side guards have already been included in multiple communications related to current rulemaking on underride guards for commercial motor vehicles:

  1. The underride rulemaking on rear guards on trailers is still open, not completed. They have previously told me that, even though the official Public Comment is closed, they will take into consideration other comments which they receive after that period.
  2. It fits under President Trump’s category of not-new rulemaking.
  3. They have already received our petition on May 5, 2014, which included a request for side guardshttps://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2014/07/10/2014-16018/federal-motor-vehicle-safety-standards-rear-impact-guards-rear-impact-protection ” NHTSA is still evaluating the Petitioners’ request to improve side guards and front override guards and will issue a separate decision on those aspects of the petition at a later date.”
  4. Other people have mentioned side guards in their Public Comment when the ANPRM and NPRM on underride guards were issued in July 2014 and December 2015, respectively. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=NHTSA-2015-0070-0013 and https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=NHTSA-2015-0070-0035
  5. We have, in fact, submitted a Comprehensive Consensus Underride Petition to NHTSA via this Public Comment process. So they know that we want side guards addressed as well: http://annaleahmary.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Comprehensive-Underride-Consensus-Petition-Letter-to-DOT.pdf
  6. Here is the Clarification of the requests in that Comprehensive Underride Petition: http://annaleahmary.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Clarification-of-the-Comprehensive-Underride-Consensus-Petition.pdf IT INCLUDES SIDE GUARDS.
  7. I personally submitted a comment specifically about side guards: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=NHTSA-2015-0118-0039
  8. NHTSA, as far as I know, can re-write the current rulemaking —  based upon feedback which they receive —  to produce a Final Rule.

I don’t know if additional comments submitted at this time would get posted to the Federal Register online, but it is my understanding that NHTSA would receive them.

Besides which, this conversation was well underway as far back as 1969, and the victims of side underride crashes — past, present, and future — deserve to have this issue addressed here and now. To do otherwise would be negligent and unconscionable.

Oh, wait! What does that say about what we have already allowed to happen?

If the Side Underride Problem Makes You Mad, Here Are 5 Ways To Be A Part of the Solution

If you watch the Today Show’s investigative report on truck SIDE UNDERIDE, you will discover that the federal government does not require side guards on large trucks. And trailer manufacturers do not install them on the trailers they produce.

NBC News article: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/side-underride-crashes-kill-200-people-year-will-congress-act-n711721

 That might make you a little bit mad, so here are 5 ways you can put that frustration to work to help bring about change:
 
+ 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. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/251/762/472/end-deadly-side-underride-crashes-mandate-side-guards-on-large-trucks/
 
+ Submit a Public Comment to DOT/NHTSA here. https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NHTSA-2015-0118 After you get to this site, click on the COMMENT NOW button.
 
+ Write to the 8 major trailer manufacturers.Tell them that you want them to put side guards on the trailers which they produce and sell to trucking companies. You can find their contact information here. http://annaleahmary.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Contact-Information-for-Major-Trailer-Manufacturers-1.pdf
 
+ Support side guard research projects, which will help get affordable and effective side guards on the market. Donate here. https://www.fortrucksafety.com/
 
+ Contact your legislators here. https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials

February 13, 2017 Update: I just received a notification of a new posting to the Federal Register of a Public Comment from someone asking DOT/NHTSA to mandate side guards! I am assuming that someone responded to my request for people to do so to help bring about change. 🙂

See it here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=NHTSA-2015-0118-0049 Actually, a second person also submitted a comment.

You can do it, too! SUBMIT a Public Comment to DOT/NHTSA here: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NHTSA-2015-0118 After you get to this site, click on the COMMENT NOW button.