Tag Archives: truck underride

Understanding Underride I to VIII: A Source of Helpful Information on Truck Underride

In order to gain a basic understanding of the deadly but preventable truck underride problem, a compilation of helpful resources is provided below.

A complete list of posts on Understanding Underride can be found here:

WUSA9 recently began an extensive investigation into truck underride. The segments which have already aired are listed here. They plan to shed light on the problem until it is adequately addressed in this country.  See all of the videos here: WUSA9 Underride Series Sheds Light on Deadly Truck Underride Tragedies & Solutions

The STOP Underrides! Act of 2017 has been drafted by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. She is working with Congressman Steve Cohen, who will be drafting a House Companion Measure.  They are both seeking Republican co-leads for this long-overdue, life-saving legislation.

On October 12, 2017, staff from Congressional Offices gathered to hear presentations from five experts on the topic of truck underride to better understand the need for the STOP Underrides! bill. The presentations were followed by a question & answer period as legislative staff sought to understand the problem and solutions of deadly but preventable underride crashes.

The presentations can be found here: Underride Briefing on The Hill; Video Excerpts of Panel Discussion on October 12

Another series of posts on underride is titled Underride 101:

Truck Underride 101: Discussion Topics

I. When Will We Tackle Truck Underride?

Truck Underride 101: I. When Will We Tackle Truck Underride?

II. Why Comprehensive Underride Protection? 

Truck Underride 101: II. Why Comprehensive Underride Protection?

III. Cost Benefit Analysis, Underride Rulemaking, and Vision Zero

 Truck Underride 101: Part III. Cost Benefit Analysis, Underride Rulemaking, and Vision Zero

IV. Win/Win

Truck Underride 101: Part IV Win/Win

V. Bipartisan Discussion of Legislative Strategy

Truck Underride 101: Part V. Bipartisan Discussion of Legislative Strategy


Would you want to be in this car?

Day after day, I observe signs that it is easier to put time and money and power into preventing solutions to deadly underride than to seek tirelessly for developing solutions.

I mean, where would we be, in this day and age, if inventive and creative people had not developed the light bulb or airplane or telephone or morse code or television or typewriter or personal computer or cell phone or camera or indoor plumbing or automobile or internet or laptop or smartphone or . . . You get the idea.

So don’t give me any excuses or point the finger of blame at someone else.

We do not lack the skills or the resources to solve the underride problem. No, we lack the will to do so. We treasure the bottomline more than the human lives. At least that is what our actions show.

It is sickening actually. Sometimes the anger and the grief leave me spent.

And then I get up again and head back into the battle. Because that is how we are going to win this war for the best possible protection with Righteousness* & Truth as the weapons of our warfare.

*. . .the quality of being morally right & justifiable.

Would you want to be in this car?

The same holds true for other truck & traffic safety issues which end in Preventable Death by Vehicle Violence.

“. . . I will eliminate the beasts of the field from the land. . . and you will live securely.”  Ezekiel 34:25

2 Moms, Sick & Tired of Waiting, Draft Truck Underride Legislation


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.

Several injured in 37-vehicle pileup on I-75 in Michigan; thankfully no truck underride deaths

Just last week, there was a pile-up of 37 vehicles in snowy conditions on I-75 in Michigan. Thankfully, there were no fatalities — plenty of totaled vehicles, I’m sure, but no fatalities.

Had there been truck underride by passenger vehicles, it could have been a whole different story.

See photos of the 37-vehicle pile-up here: Several injured in 37-vehicle pileup on I-75 near Holly Road


Tribute to Clarence Ditlow. . . long-time car safety advocate to whom we owe our gratitude

Fair Warning has provided us with yet another tribute to Clarence Ditlow. . . long-time car safety advocate to whom we owe our gratitude.

The Loss of a Consumer Champion, November 15, 2016

I had very little contact with Clarence. But I did have some correspondence with him this year as I was preparing for the Underride Roundtable and also for the Consensus Document which came out of that.  He shared that he was unable to take on that battle due to some major health issues which he was dealing with at that time.

I received this email from Clarence in June:

We are cleaning  up old NHTSA  rulemaking dockets for which we have paper files. At some point in time after 1995, regs.gov became the official repository for federal agency rulemaking dockets including NHTSA’s.   We are taking a sample of regs.gov dockets each year from 1996 going forward until we are sure we have the point in time at which regs.gov became 100% reliable & we can throw away our paper files from that point.

We stumbled across this docket in our sample & sent it to you & Ben as a courtesy to people with a greater interest in and ability to pursue truck underride than the Center.

I have the belief that if I come across something that may be of interest to others, I send it to them.


I replied:

Thank you for carrying out your belief.


Thank you, Clarence. For everything.

Thank you

If status of truck safety rulemaking is reflection of gov’t FOR The People, The People need to take action.

This morning, I listened to the NTSB Board discuss a deadly 2015 truck crash. And then tonight, as I was going through a box of loose papers to file, I ran across NTSB Safety Recommendations from April 3, 2014. At that time NTSB was asking NHTSA for improvement in truck underride protection — for which we are still waiting.

Was it not the founders’ intent for the government of this country to act in the interest of The People? I think that it is high time that The People speak up and say that enough is enough! Whatever cost/benefit analysis process is being used has put the victims of vehicle violence totally at the mercy of the corporate world. They don’t appear to stand a chance.

Gertie reaching for Mary ...Susanna's film

Being convinced that we have already waited far too long for rulemaking that would protect The People from Death by Underride, I recently worked with a group of knowledgeable individuals to prepare a Comprehensive Underride Consensus Petition, which we submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on September 23, on behalf of The People:

Comprehensive Underride Consensus Petition Letter to NHTSA, September 23, 2016

Today, I received a reply from NHTSA Rulemaking in response to that Petition:

This is to acknowledge receipt of your September 23, 2016 request to initiate rulemaking for comprehensive underride protection.

We will evaluate your request and notify you of our decision.

Letter from NHTSA in response to the Comprehensive Underride Consensus Petition

What will their decision be? The Petition which we sent was signed by fourteen people. Will that be enough to sway their decision? What we need now is many more people to speak up with us and let NHTSA know that this is, in fact, the will of The People.

Please sign this recently-launched online petition to let NHTSA know that you want them to act swiftly to improve regulations which will prevent deadly underride crashes:




FRONT Underrun Protection Systems (FUPS) Research; So why does Europe require this & US does not?

I have been trying to collect as much information as possible on the deadly dilemma of the truck override which occurs when a truck and car have a head-on collision.

  1. Truck tractor cabs may be equipped with a Front Underrun Protection System (FUPS)
  2. IIHS 2009 TestimonyResearch in Europe has investigated front underride guards, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Regulation 93 requires such guards.  NHTSA also should require adequate front, side, and rear underride guards on new tractors and trailers. Statement before the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection Emerging vehicle safety issues, May 18, 2009, Stephen Oesch, also contains an Attachment: Federal rulemaking on truck underride guards 
  6. Front Underrun or Underride Guards, Underride Network
  7. Volvo Trucks India: Protecting Other Road-Users :The different heights of trucks and cars have always constituted a safety problem in traffic, not least if a head-on collision should occur.Now, we are proud to offer a solution in the shape of Volvo’s Front Underrun Protection System (FUPS), which is fitted as standard on Volvo FH and Volvo FM models.The FUPS prevents passenger cars from becoming wedged under the truck’s front in a frontal collision, and thereby reduces the risk of serious injuries and increases the survival rate for the car’s occupants. The underrun protection beam serves as a 200 mm deep crumple zone, considerably reducing penetration into the car’s passenger compartment. With the truck bumper situated on the same level as that of a typical car bumper, the deformation zone of the car can be utilised in the best possible way.

    The FUPS comes fully integrated into the cab’s structure in the FH and FM series, but does not add any extra weight.

  8. Robustness and Reliability of Front Underrun Protection Systems, Master’s Thesis in Solid and Fluid Mechanics JOHANNES FRAMBY & DAVID LANTZ
  9. Front underrun protective systems and devices are used on heavy vehicles. Their problem of compatibility with other road users is a serious issue. Trucks are stiff, heavy and high and pose a serious threat to occupants of other vehicles in the event of an impact. Frontal car-to-truck collisions are the most common impact type in crashes where trucks are involved. . .  In EU it is mandatory for vehicles over 3.5 tonnes to have a rigid front underrun protection system. Studies have also shown that passenger cars can ‘survive’ a frontal truck collision with a speed of 75 km/h if the truck is equipped with an energy absorbing underrun protective system. In order for a Front Underrun Protective System to be approved laboratory testing has to be carried out in accordance with the procedures described in UN ECE Regulation No. 93. Tests also have to be carried out in by a test facility approved by the road agency (transport department). TEST TO FRONT UNDERRUN PROTECTIVE SYSTEMS
  10. FUPS BullbarsFront Underrun Protection Systems (FUPS) are barriers integrated into the front of trucks OR built as specially designed bullbars and bumpers.The benefits of FUPS are significant:Injuries are minimised by preventing smaller vehicles from going underneath the front of trucks in the event of an accident.
    • FUPS ensure that the crash forces are evenly distributed across the front of the truck.
    • FUPS ensure that the safety features of passenger vehicles (such as air bags and crumple zones) are activated during a collision.
    • FUPS can prevent the car damaging the trucks steering – allowing the truck to be bought to a controlled stop.

    Australian FUPS are made to UNECE Regulation No 93 Standards. The regulation requires that the Front Underrun Protection Device must withstand certain forces, have a smooth front with a face of 100mm to distribute the crash forces, and have a maximum ground clearance of 400mm.

    The fitment of a FUPS is one of the requirements to operate a 26 metre B-Double within Australia. Provided the truck has the cab strength required this may also enable you to have an extra 500kg on the front axle.

  11. Front underrun protection systems for trucks. Considerations about the bullet and target vehicles for a test procedure
  12. Front underrun protection European Commission, Transport, Road SafetyDue to the size and mass of heavy vehicles, the problem of compatibility with other road users is a serious issue. Trucks are stiff, heavy and high and pose a serious threat to occupants of other vehicles in the event of an impact. Frontal car-to-truck collisions are the most common impact type in crashes where trucks are involved.It has been estimated that energy-absorbing front, rear and side under-run protection could reduce deaths in car to lorry impacts by about 12% [100]. An EU requirement was introduced in 2000 based on ECE Regulation 93 requiring mandatory rigid front underrun protection defining a rigid front underrun protection system for trucks with a gross weight over 3.5 tonnes Directive 2000/40/EEC. Studies performed by EEVC WG 14 have shown that passenger cars can ‘survive’ a frontal truck collision with a relative speed of 75 km/h if the truck is equipped with an energy absorbing underrun protection system. Furthermore, these systems could reduce about 1,176 deaths and 23,660 seriously injured car occupants in Europe per year. Research shows that the benefits of a mandatory specification for energy absorbing front underrun protection would exceed the costs, even if the safety effect of these measures was as low as 5% [37]. Energy absorbing systems are available from all truck manufacturers as an optional device but almost none are sold. A test procedure for legislative action is under development VC Compat.
  13. Front underrun protection The front underrun protection prevents smaller vehicles in frontal crashes from being dragged under the body of a large truck. In its function as a high-strength steel abutment, it activates the energy-absorbing areas of the body of the advancing vehicle (crumple zones) so that the energy of the collision can be dissipated.
  14. In head-on collisions of bonnet-type cars (sedans, wagons, hatchbacks, etc., hereafter referred to simply as cars) and heavy trucks, the car often under runs the front of the truck, and the car crew received the serious or fatal injuries. The crash safety performance of the car depends on the way its structural parts interact with the structural parts of the truck. Front Underrun Protection Device equipment that prevents the car from under running the truck is obligatory in India. The Required strength and ground clearance of FUPDs are specified in the relevant regulations used in India. Accidents between cars and trucks are among the most fatal accidents because of the car under running. This phenomenon leads to serious and fatal injuries for car occupants because of intrusion of the car structure into the passenger compartment. This has led to the development of test procedure for energy-absorbing front under run protection systems for trucks. There is a summary of accident analysis of several European countries, where we can read that of the 48000 fatally injured people in road traffic accidents in 1992, 13000 people were killed in accident with trucks involved, about 7000 were car occupants and 4200 of them were killed in car-to-truck frontal collisions.In the same time, in 1994, a collaboration in France between Renault VI (truck manufacturer) and INRETS has begun. The research program set up is based on a experimental design to determine the effect of the vehicle masses, the overlap and the closing speed and the effect of the Front Under run Protection Device on mechanical and biomechanical characteristics. This experimental design is presented which is also analysed and made available to use as a valid Front Under run Protection Device for trucks. Design and Optimization of Front Underrun Protection Device      Dr. T. Ramamohan Rao1 , A. Rama Krishna, IOSR Journal of Mechanical and Civil Engineering (IOSR-JMCE) e-ISSN: 2278-1684,p-ISSN: 2320-334X, Volume 8, Issue 2 (Jul. – Aug. 2013), PP 19-25 www.iosrjournals.org                                                                                                                                         Conclusions:  Head on collision contribute significant amount of serious accidents which causes driver fatalities. The car safety performances can work effectively by providing FUPD to the heavy trucks. The trucks with UPD can reduce the car driver fatalities by 40 % In India, for Front Under-run Protection Device, IS 14812:2005 regulation is required in for the trucks to meet the safety requirement to protect under running of the passenger car. In above said design, the maximum displacement of FUPD bar is limited to 179mm hence it meet the requirements as per IS 14812:2005. But this needs to be confirmed with physical testing in future. The virtual simulation is tool which can be used to avoid or reduce the physical testing of mechanical systems and components. Overall effect of this is cost saving and same is done with FUPD analysis. As per above results optimized model is safe, more strength and low weight mode suits the best suggested design. Weight reduction achieved by optimization result is 6%, compared to base third Model and displacement is about 5% and Stress is 6%.Finally we conclude that the optimized model results are less than the third design model. By this we can say that optimized front under run protection device is selected. Front under run protection is achieved less weight, less displacement and less stress so that for the passenger who is sitting in the car having high safety by placing this optimized model. We can suggest to automobile industries to keep this type of Front Underrun Protection Device to truck, busses etc which saves the life of passenger with less injury.
  15. Investigating the (length) constraints imposed by the Front Underrun Protection Regulation CONCLUSIONS: Crashes involving an underrun are likely to be severe because a car’s structural strength and passive safety systems – such as crumple zones – are unlikely to confer their full safety benefit. Many trucks/trailers are fitted with some form of underrun protection, however few trucks are equipped to fully minimise the possibility of an underrun. As a passive safety device, underrun protection will not reduce the number of crashes involving trucks and lighter vehicles. However, they can ensure that crashes that do occur are less severe than they might otherwise have been. The economic benefit of this reduction in crash severity substantially exceeds the cost of fitting them to trucks, up to a cost of $1,000 for a package of underrun protection for the front, sides and rear of all trucks (the benefit also exceeds the costs for individual underrun devices). This benefit is accrued over a device lifetime of at least 15 years, and is higher for articulated trucks than for rigid trucks. Further work is needed to develop a minimum standard for underrun protection devices for each side of a truck/trailer combination. 

So. . . tell me again why it is that we do not have Front Underrun Protection on every truck in the United States!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Other posts on front override:

Front Override 008

Best Protection

Recently-posted Public Comments on Truck Underride Upgrade. . . Public Comment Period ends 2/16/16

Here are the most recent comments posted on the Federal Register for the rear underride rulemaking for trailers (including the Virginia Tech engineering student design team):

DOCUMENT ID:    NHTSA-2015-0118-0013 (http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NHTSA-2015-0118-0013)
POSTED DATE:    02/09/2016
DOCUMENT TITLE: Response to NPRM:  Rear Impact Guards, Rear Impact Protection

DOCUMENT ID:    NHTSA-2015-0118-0014 (http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NHTSA-2015-0118-0014)
POSTED DATE:    02/09/2016
DOCUMENT TITLE: Comment of The National Transportation Safety Board

DOCUMENT ID:    NHTSA-2015-0118-0015 (http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NHTSA-2015-0118-0015)
POSTED DATE:    02/09/2016
DOCUMENT TITLE: Comment from American Trucking Association

This is the comment from the Virginia Tech Senior Underride Design Team:

DOCUMENT ID:    NHTSA-2015-0118-0016 (http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NHTSA-2015-0118-0016)
POSTED DATE:    02/09/2016
DOCUMENT TITLE: Comment from Mechanical Engineering Underride Design Group

DOCUMENT ID:    NHTSA-2015-0118-0017 (http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NHTSA-2015-0118-0017)
POSTED DATE:    02/09/2016
DOCUMENT TITLE: Comment from The Association for the Work Truck Industry

All comments can be seen here:  http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;dct=FR+PR+N+O+SR;rpp=10;po=0;D=NHTSA-2015-0118

The formal Public Comment period will end on February 16, 2016.

Underride NPRM screenshot 007

Needed for an Underride Crash Test: Beat-up 53′ Box Trailer & a Chevy Malibu

Aaron Kiefer is making plans to do a preliminary crash test of his innovative side/rear underride protection system – before taking it to the Underride Roundtable at the IIHS on May 5, 2016.

He has asked us to be on the lookout for two things which he needs for the crash test:

  1. a used 53′ box trailer with its rear underride guard and its landing gear intact (not bent or rusted) and
  2. an older model Chevy Malibu–from the year 2000 or younger.

If you have either one of those which you could donate (or sell for almost nothing) to make this important crash happen, please email me at marianne@annaleahmary.com.

Here is more information about Aaron’s hard work to make trucks safer to be around:

Aaron Kiefer underride design prototype photo

Aaron plans on using the crash test results to refine his design and make it as effective as possible. Please spread the word about this need. Thank you.



One month left to make Public Comments on the Rear Underride Proposed Rule–last day 2/16/16

For those planning on making a Public Comment on the proposed rule for rear underride protection on tractor-trailers, please make plans to do so before the deadline of February 16, 2016.

Make your comments here: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NHTSA-2015-0118-0001

Trip North May 2015 046