I enjoyed working with Jerry Hirsch, the editor of Trucks.com, to prepare this fact-based opinion column on the truck underride issue.
When people learned of the recent fatal crash in Florida of a Tesla Model S running in its Autopilot mode, many started questioning the safety of autonomous driving features in the newest cars.
While this is a legitimate topic of debate, for now autonomous driving presents little threat to those on the road. It comes on just a handful of expensive luxury models, and there’s only a small chance that the car driving next to you will have a robot at the controls.
However, the tragic Tesla crash does highlight a real and present highway danger — cars sliding underneath large trucks when vehicles collide. Regardless of who was at fault in the Tesla crash, the driver might have lived if the truck had been required to have side guards that would have prevented the electric sports sedan from wedging underneath the trailer.
I know just how dangerous collisions like this can be.
My youngest daughters, AnnaLeah and Mary, died in 2013 in a truck rear underride crash.
Read more here: https://www.trucks.com/2016/08/10/trucks-underride-hidden-danger/, “When Will We Tackle Underride? – The Hidden Dangers in Trucks” by Marianne Karth, August 10, 2016, Trucks.com
You can help. Sign & share our petition asking DOT to mandate side guards on trucks: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/104/026/213/mandate-side-guards-on-large-trucks-to-end-deadly-side-underride-crashes/