Tag Archives: side underride

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.

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?

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.

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:

Side Guards: New push to make safety devices on trucks mandatory

NBCNews story on side guards (2/7/17): Side Underride Crashes Kill 200 People a Year. Will Congress Act?

The federal government does not require side guards on large trucks. Trailer manufacturers do not install them on the trailers they produce. Here are 5 ways you can help to change that:

  1. 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.
  2. Write to the 8 major trailer manufacturers. Tell them that you want them to put side guards on the trailers which they make and sell to trucking companies. You can find their contact information here.
  3. Support side guard research projects, which will help get affordable and effective side guards on the market. Donate here.
  4. Contact your legislators here.
  5. Submit a Public Comment to DOT/NHTSA here. After you get to this site, click on the Comment Now button.

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Aaron Kiefer’s underride protection devices: ENHANCING TRUCK SAFETY ​ SAVING LIVES

What Will It Take To Convince US That Side Underride KILLS But Side Guards Save Lives?

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.

 

Ways We Can Work Together To End Deadly Truck Underride

Side Underride Kills; Side Guards Save Lives

The federal government does not require side guards on large trucks. Trailer manufacturers do not install them on the trailers they produce. Here are 3 ways you can help to change that:

  1. Write to the 8 major trailer manufacturers. Tell them that you want them to put side guards on the trailers which they make and sell to trucking companies. You can find their contact information here.
  2. 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.
  3. Support side guard research projects, which will help get affordable and effective side guards on the market. Donate here.

Truck Underride will be featured on The Today Show, February 7, at 7:40 a.m.

AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety is Raising Money to Support These Road Safety Projects:

  1. Crash Reconstructionist Aaron Kiefer is developing an innovative combination side/rear underride guard. Help him get it ready to put into the hands of manufacturers. See Aaron’s side guard research here.
  2. Collegiate Engineering Senior Design Competition 2017/18: Support a student competition to creatively solve the side underride problem. Student teams will present their research at the IIHS Vehicle Research Center in the Spring of 2018, and one team’s side guard design will be selected for a crash test. (Last year’s Virginia Tech Senior Design Project presented at the Underride Roundtable.)
  3. We also promote other underride research & solutions which will be discussed at the Second Underride Roundtable on August 29, 2017 at the IIHS, including the AngelWing side underride protection device.

AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is eligible to receive contributions that may be tax deductible for the donor. Your donation will help fund projects that will save lives!

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AnnaLeah & Mary’s Story

Underride Guard Facts

Truck Side Underride Investigative Report to be aired on The Today Show, 2/7/17 at 7:40 a.m.

NBC News NY has extensively interviewed multiple individuals and organizations on the issue of deadly truck side underride — including a trip to North Carolina last month to film Aaron Kiefer’s side guard crash test. They are now ready to air the story on Tuesday, February 7, at 7:40 a.m. on The Today Show.

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Why put rear underride protection on trailers but not Single Unit Trucks? Any underride is deadly.

I ran across a study on underride fatality crashes this morning. I’d read it before but took a lot at it again. +

Then, this afternoon, while in city traffic, I saw an almost-side underride-crash between a car and Single Unit Truck (SUT). And when I arrived at a parking lot later, I saw a wimpy rear underride guard on a SUT.

So, why do we put rear underride guards on trailers but don’t require them on SUTs? (Not even mentioning that the current rear guard requirement is ineffective as written.) And why don’t we require side underride guards on any large trucks?

Truck underride is deadly no matter the truck size or portion of the truck the smaller vehicle rides under.

Trip North May 2015 033underride guards trip to RDU 007

SUT Underride guard Great Dane trip 061

+ For SUTs, the study showed that, “Considering all degrees of underride, trucks with a guard suffered slightly more underride than trucks with no rear-end protection, 69.5% to 66.7%. . . This result is counter to what would be expected, although it may be due to small, sample sizes and a host of other complicating factors. The severity threshold of the TIFA file may serve to decrease variation in the amount of underride by rear-end structure, since a fatality must occur for the crash to be included in the file. It could be that many of the collisions are beyond the design limits of the guards, and so the guards have no effect.” Underride in rear-end fatal truck crashes, Submitted to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, prepared by Daniel Blower Kenneth L. Campbell, The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, October 1999

In other words, the wimpy guards aren’t effective anyway, so even if a SUT has one, the guard usually doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do — which is to prevent deadly underride.

Current rulemaking on underride protection for SUTs is in limbo at NHTSA: ANPRM Underride Protection of Single Unit Trucks

Truck Side Underride: Victims Without a Voice

Sign our Side Guard Petition to let our government leaders and the trucking industry know that you want them to act NOW to SAVE LIVES:

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

Save Lives

If we do not speak up to prevent this senseless loss of lives,

tell me who will.

Donate to Underride Guard Research: AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety 501(c)(3) website

Other ways you can help.

AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety fundraising goals

Crash Test of Innovative Large Truck Side Guard Could Advance Side Underride Prevention

Crash reconstructionist/forensic engineer Aaron Kiefer continues to develop his ideas for an innovative side/rear underride guard to protect all vulnerable victims from deadly truck underride.

Aaron has identified new materials to make his design stronger, more effective at preventing underride, and user-friendly for the truck drivers. The only thing is that he is doing this work on his own time aside from his regular job of reconstructing crash scenes. He turned to us to ask if we could help him raise some money for his upcoming side guard crash test so that he can prove that his invention will save lives.

You can help Aaron purchase the necessary materials for his next crash test. Our current goal is to raise $3,000* by early next year.

Donate at the ALMFTS website here which our family set up for traffic safety research through our 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety.

We received our IRS letter of approval in 2015 and are listed as a non-profit with Guidestar: http://www.guidestar.org/profile/47-4379503

support-sideguard-research

* Crash Test Materials Include the Following:

  • $500 would buy the necessary polyester webbing  (12,000 lb/in), which gives Aaron’s invention unusual strength.
  • $500 more would buy the car to crash —  a Malibu
  • $500 more would buy the rear reinforcement aluminum plate and water jet cutting
  • $500 more would allow Aaron to purchase the aluminum extrusion for reinforcement/rear guard connector
  • $500 additional would pay for the FRP panel (2 x 190 ft rolls). Just today, Aaron had a sample of this plastic panel successfully sewn together with the polyester webbing — a good sign that this design, with these materials, could provide a strong innovative option for side underride protection on large trucks for pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, and passenger vehicles.
  • $3,000 TOTAL would allow Aaron to purchase the entire CRASH TEST SET: Panel/webbing/aluminum/assembly/labor (industrial sewing)

Please share this post so others can join in this vital effort to make affordable and effective side guards available to the trucking industry. Thank you!