Tag Archives: side underride

Car Dragged By Semi Due To Defective Truck Design

A semi dragging a car with which it collided on a California highway this week has caught media attention. But while many are shaking their heads with disbelief that the truck driver apparently didn’t notice the car, they are overlooking the disturbing fact that trucks have been defectively designed with a “geometric mismatch” that allows cars to ride under them.

And, despite the fact that this is well-known, little or nothing has been done to change this deadly problem.

Car dragged for miles by semi-truck, police say.

Unfortunately, this recent underride crash is not uncommon. This kind of collision happens hundreds of times each year. And the crash in California likely would have ended in a death if someone had been in the front passenger seat — like there was 12 years ago when my friend Lois Durso’s daughter, Roya Sadigh, was killed in a similar crash.

I know what I am talking about because I lost my two youngest daughters, AnnaLeah and Mary, in a truck underride crash on May 4, 2013. And it can happen to anyone at anytime — changing life forever without any warning.

This will continue to happen until we, as a country, decide that enough is enough and require every large truck to have effective underride protection — like we are asking for in the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act of 2017.

Woman dies after car dragged under semi

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:

Truckers need working conditions which foster their own personal well-being & safe driving behavior.

Editor’s Picks from Trucks.com include these recent articles:

 

  • All these programs are funded locally and don’t rely on federal dollars. Nagrani said federal green truck grants, for example, will amount to just one tenth the level of what California offers and are split among all 50 states.He expects continued interest.

    “Everybody wants clean air regardless of what the Trump administration has said,” Nagrani said.  Alternative Fuel Trucks Abound at Industry Show, But Buyers Sparse, JERRY HIRSCH MARCH 17, 2017 EDITOR’S PICKS, TRUCKING TECHNOLOGY, Trucks.com

Will truckers be provided with working conditions which foster their own personal well-being as well as safe driving behavior?

Side guards on trucks could provide fuel savings and save lives by preventing deadly side underride.

Does everybody want safer trucking? Do we?

Side Guard Petition Book; We CAN Solve Deadly Side Underride by Working Together

Here’s the information which I have pulled together on side underride:

Let’s put the 21st Century Truck Partnership initiative to work & solve the deadly underride problem!

Let’s put the 21st Century Truck Partnership initiative to work & solve the deadly underride problem!

Research and development for ways to protect road users from deadly underride could and should be part of 21st Century Truck Partnership efforts and the millions of dollars being poured into the Super Truck project.

Here’s the information which I have pulled together on side underride:

I have shared this information with multiple individuals and organizations in Washington, DC (DOE, DOT, The Hill, and truck industry leaders). I am trying to organize a meeting, with them all, for when I am in DC next week. It needs to be discussed and moved on quickly. Lives are at stake.

Seems like a no-brainer to me.

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.

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.