Tag Archives: underride guards

Video Links from the Second Underride Roundtable at the IIHS on August 29, 2017

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety once again did a fantastic job of hosting the Underride Roundtable. They have now provided us with links to the Second Underride Roundtable held at the IIHS Vehicle Research Center in Ruckersville, Virginia, on August 29, 2017. Here is the agenda, followed by the videos:

Truck Underride Roundtable 2 – Morning Session, Part 1:


Truck Underride Roundtable 2 – Morning Session, Part 2:


Truck Underride Roundtable 2 – Side Guard Panel:


Truck Underride Roundtable 2 – Industry Response and Crash Avoidance Panel:


Side Guard Crash Test at 40 mph on August 29, 2017:


Side Underride & Side Guard Crash Tests at 35 mph at IIHS on March 30 & 31, 2017:



How Wabash Prototype Side Guard Could Impact Truck Underride Innovation, Technology, & Regulation

After hearing some great news Friday night, I want to put it into perspective and bring up for discussion what it might mean to the future of underride protection. Last week, Wabash Trailers revealed their prototype side impact guard at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta: Such exciting news! Wabash Trailers has taken initiative to save lives with prototype side guard!

Other interesting recent posts and news includes:

We lost AnnaLeah and Mary in an underride crash on May 4, 2013. As we began to discover things about underride in the months after our crash, we determined to help bring about change. But by June 2014, when we had met with DOT and toured Great Dane’s Research & Design Center in Savannah, we realized that there was very little communication and collaboration going on among the various stakeholders — government, manufacturers, engineers, researchers, safety advocates, etc. That’s when we thought about the idea of an Underride Roundtable.

We figured that if someone, who could do something about underride, lost a loved one in an underride crash, then they would move heaven & earth to solve the problem. Not willing to wait, we began to take action ourselves to try and bring about the best possible underride protection. By the time the first Underride Roundtable took place at the IIHS on May 5, 2016, we had made many contacts and had begun to see meaningful progress in underride protection.

But we knew that that was still not enough when, on March 14, 2017, Lois Durso and I attended the Senate Commerce Committee Hearing at which an update on Truck Safety was given. We were disturbed that side underride was not even mentioned — having already witnessed successful side guard crash testing of Aaron Kiefer’s TrailerGuard System and knowing that we would, in a few weeks, see crash testing of Perry Ponder’s AngelWing side guard.

That was when we decided that we were sick & tired of waiting for someone else to do something about it and began drafting the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection (RAM CUP) Act of 2017 ourselves. Since that day, we have been talking and writing about this important legislation ceaselessly with all of the stakeholders, including many legislative offices both Republican and Democrat.

So you can perhaps imagine our excitement when we got a call in July from Senator Gillibrand’s staff with the news that the Senator wanted to work with us to introduce this bill. Not only that, but her plan was to wait and introduce it with Republican support to enable it to move forward. And that is where we are at, hoping to hear soon that a Republican from each House will soon join Senator Gillibrand and Congressman Cohen to set the ball rolling on a mandate which will result in comprehensive underride protection on all trucks.

While we, like anyone else, want to see the advancement of crash avoidance technology, we think that it is also vital to act to make crashes, which do occur, more survivable. Both/and not either/or. Thus we wait expectantly for the introduction of the Stop Underrides Bill as a truly bipartisan effort to bring about a long-overdue solution to a ubiquitous public health and safety problem.

A few days ago, after posting about the fantastic news from Wabash — and after earlier in the week posting about Stoughton’s announcement of stronger rear guards being standard on their new refrigerated trailers — I ran across this post which I wrote in May (be sure to pay attention to what industry leaders have said about innovation, technology, and regulation, and think about how it applies to the underride issue): Truck Industry Leaders: “Clarity is probably the biggest need we have so we can plan accordingly.”

Mandates take burden off manufacturers. Crash tests in labs better than crash tests occurring in real world.

Clearly, we have begun to see effective communication and collaboration taking place. We are thankful for the efforts of so many and encouraged at how the industry is making great strides. We know that it will continue to require a multi-prong strategy and that a comprehensive underride regulation can create a framework for us all going forward. It is for that reason that we included in the Stop Underrides Bill a requirement for a Committee On Underride Protection (COUP) because we want to ensure that the collaboration will not be just an idea but a reality.

We hope that we can count on the support of everyone involved to persevere in this process. And we want to end with this final thought:  We know that rear underride guards have been known at times as Mansfield Bars, and we think that Roya, AnnaLeah and Mary would have been tickled pink if side guards — or the entire comprehensive underride protection system — would become known as Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Guards — or more simply, RAM Guards.

Jerry and Marianne Karth

Lois Durso

Stay Tuned for an Upcoming Underride Briefing in the Capitol Visitors Center, Room 215, October 12, 2017, 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. Experts will be available to answer questions about the underride problem & solutions.

1919 “Life-guard” Lawsuit Related To a 1913 Side Guard Patent for Safety of Motor Vehicles

When Jerry asked whether we could find any story about why Percy Hawksworth filed a patent in 1913 for a safety device for the sides of motor vehicles, this is what I found online:

A lawsuit related to that patent arguing that there was nothing novel about it. Nothing new under the sun.


Some quotes:

  • A Patent was granted for Improvements in or relating to safety devices or life-
    guards for motor vehicles. One of the Claims was for A guard for a motor
    vehicle Consisting of a frame or the like carried along the side of the vehicle and
    crossing the path of the rear wheels at a slight inclination substantially as and
    for the purpose described.  At the trial of an action for infringement of
    the Patent, the only defences raised were want of novelty and of subjectmatter.
    It was proved that slatted guards of the same general construction as
    those described in the Specification had been in common use for many years between the front and back wheels of tramcars, and that the only difference in arrangement between those guards and the patented guards consisted in the fact that the tramcar guards, owing to the cars being run in either direction, were parallel to the sides of the cars, instead of being inclined to the sides. There was no constructional difficulty in giving the inclination to the guard. Guards similar to the patented guards had also been used for the front wheels of tramcars, and there was no constructional difficulty in adapting to the rear wheel of a motor omnibus the guards that had been used for the front wheels of tramcars. It was also proved that, in the prior Specification of P., guards for both the front and rear wheels of tramcars had been described, the inclination of the rear wheel guards being almost the same as that of the patented guards.
    Held, that in view of prior user on tramcars, of both side guards and front guards,
    and the publication of the Specification of P., there was no element of novelty or invention to support the Patent, and that it was invalid
  • ” This invention has reference to safety devices or life-guards for motor vehicles. It is well known that many, if not most, of the worst accidents with motor buses or heavy motor vehicles are  caused by the rear wheels. Now according to this invention, which is intended more particularly for use on motor buses, a life-guard, catcher or fender is provided for each of the rear wheels, consisting of a frame carried at each side of the bus or vehicle in such a way that with only a slight inclination its rear end overlaps or extends to the outside of the rear wheels, and thus serves to push anyone who may have been knocked down, or otherwise comes against it, clear of the said rear wheels.
  •  In this way if anyone should for instance be knocked down by the bonnet or front of the bus or other vehicle, and the driver has succeeded in clearing him with the front wheels, he will be pushed on one side by the advance of the inclined guard frame clear of the rear wheels, instead of being caught by the latter as frequently “happens.
  • Similarly, if anyone should be accidentally thrown towards the bus from the side,
    as for instance by a side-slip from a bicycle, and thus come against the inclined
    fender, it will act in the same way and prevent him from going under the bus
    or vehicle and from being run over by the rear wheels.
  • By the arrangement above described, a very simple efficient and reliable protection is provided against accidents from the rear wheels of motor vehicles and the device also acts as a side guard to close in and protect the side space between the front and
    rear wheels

See this previous post which includes an 1896 patent for side guards on tramcars/streetcars: History of Underride Research & Reports: 1896 to 2017

RAMCUP Capitol Hill Briefing, June 15, 9-noon: Be Part of the Solution to STOP Truck Underride Tragedies

2 Moms are returning to DC with a week full of meetings on The Hill — including meetings with 13 House Transportation Committee Member Offices. Then, on Thursday, June 15, Lois Durso and I will be hosting a Capitol Hill Briefing on the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act of 2017 (RAMCUP) from 9 a.m. to noon. Our goal is to get Congress on board with the importance of this doable plan to end preventable truck underride tragedies.

How You Can Help: We will be providing refreshments to those attending the Briefing and would appreciate donations (not tax deductible) to help us cover the costs. If you can help in this way, please email me at marianne@annaleahmary.com or PM me.

Could comprehensive truck underride protection have prevented 2 underride deaths in Michigan yesterday?

At this time of year (who am I kidding, all year long), I think about how if there had been comprehensive and effective underride protection on trucks, then  AnnaLeah and Mary might have still been here today. They could have gone with me to the zoo on Friday when I went there with my grandson.

How many deaths and catastrophic injuries could be prevented by comprehensive underride protection on all trucks? Might these two deaths in Michigan yesterday have been prevented?

Two people died and a third was critically hurt today in a multiple-vehicle crash involving a semi that shut down southbound U.S. 23 in Livingston County for hours.

One of the people killed, a 51-year-old man from Milford, was in a Ford Focus that went underneath the semi, according to a release from the Green Oak Charter Township Police Department. Also in that car was a 26-year-old woman that taken to University of Michigan Hospitals with life-threatening injuries. The other man killed was a 52-year-old from Davison who was in a Chevrolet Sonic rear-ended by the semi.

Read more here: http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2017/04/23/semi-crash-us-23-green-oak-livingston/100822330/

Will Knight/Swift KNX make sure their 77,000 trailers have the best possible underride protection?

Last month, I met Jerry Moyes, founder of Swift Transportation, at a Senate hearing on truck safety in DC. He proudly talked about how Swift makes safety a priority. In fact, he appeared very interested in the side guard design by Aaron Kiefer which I showed to him.

This morning, I read that Swift has just merged with Knight Transportation. The combined resources of the two companies will now mean that the new entity will have 77,000 trailers on the road.

Will the new company make safety a priority and ensure that those 77,000 trailers have the best possible underride protection? I sure hope so.

Heading for DC to Discuss the Need for the Best Possible Underride Protection on All Trucks

This is why we are working so hard to get better underride protection. This is why I am getting up early tomorrow morning to get on Amtrak headed for DC to meet with DOT and the Senate Commerce Committee. Pray for fruitful meetings.

COMPARE THIS: A real-life underride death prevented by a new rear underride guard: New Stoughton Rear Underride Guard Proven Successful In Real Life Crash; Driver Survives

TO THIS: A real-life rear underride tragedy in a crash into an old, weak, and ineffective rear underride guard: Carroll deputy killed in crash

Within a week’s time, 1 driver survived a crash with a trailer, 1 driver did not.

Seems like a no-brainer to me to require that all of the 15.5 million trucks on the road have the best possible underride protection.

Note: How many trucks are on the road?

 2016 Top 25 North American Truck-Trailer & Chassis OEMs









Side Guard Petition Book Part 1

Side Guard Petition Book Part 2

Side Guard Petition Book Part 3

Within a week’s time, 1 driver survived a crash with a trailer, 1 driver did not.

A real-life underride death prevented by a new rear underride guard: New Stoughton Rear Underride Guard Proven Successful In Real Life Crash; Driver Survives

A real-life rear underride tragedy in a crash into an old, weak, and ineffective rear underride guard: Carroll deputy killed in crash

Seems like a no-brainer to me to require that all of the 15.5 million trucks on the road have the best possible underride protection.

Note: How many trucks are on the road?

 2016 Top 25 North American Truck-Trailer & Chassis OEMs









Please tell Marianne & Jerry that we believe in them:what they are doing can & WILL shape the industry.

I continue to be thankful and speechless at the response which we have received from G & P Trucking Company:

Please read this facebook post by Michelle Novak, a friend who lost her nephew in a truck crash:


I’m going to share this post by G&P Trucking Company so everyone can see the amazing difference that Marianne Waldron Karth , and her husband Jerry are making at the highest levels in the industry.

They responded to my comment of yesterday, and I want everyone in the TSC, and anyone who supports safer trucking, to read it. It made me cry to know that the heart of the man who runs this company has been touched so deeply by the Karths. This will save lives! People will be prevented from dying–and who knows how many?–by this kind of work the Karths tirelessly do! If you have any money, time or energy to give to the Karths as they crawl on pavement helping assemble under-ride guards that the industry will one day use, please offer it! These two are people who will persevere until they achieve a way to preserve life in memory of their daughters. I admit I’m not made of such stuff. But I do want to help.

If the comments don’t show up under the piece, please do go to their site, read it, leave a comment and sign up for their blog, which will be detailing their brand new safety effort. And do be sure to encourage the Karths as they labor to accomplish things i didn’t think were possible!

Michelle’s comments to her post:

  • Comment from Michelle Novak to the president of G & P Trucking: Mr. Clifton Parker, I’m sending a comment to thank you for your heartfelt and immediate response to a letter you received from a grieving parent who lost two daughters to a preventable under-ride crash. I’ll be following this up with an actual letter to express my gratitude in more detail, but wanted you to know how much what you’re doing means to those of us who have lost loved ones to companies that don’t focus on safety as number one. I have subscribed to your company’s blog and will follow what this company is doing to improve the safety of the industry as a whole.
  • Reply to Michelle from G & P Trucking: Ms. Michelle, thank you for your kind words! Mr. Parker was deeply affected by his conversation with Marianne. You should know, we had a safety meeting today detailing our goals to keep our equipment (and drivers) the safest on the road–and it stemmed from their conversation. In the following days, we will post more information about our plan in the company blog and social media outlets. Please tell Marianne and Jerry that we believe in them–what they are doing can AND WILL shape the industry.


Please Join Us In Thanking Other Trucking Companies For Their Voluntary Actions To Make Their Trucks Safer To Be Around:

  1. G & P Trucking Company: Online Contact Form
  2. Manac was the first trailer manufacturer to re-design their rear underride guard to protect against underride at the outer edges of the trailer. Online Questions & Comments Form
  3. Vanguard followed. http://vanguardnationalparts.com/
  4. Next came Wabash and JB Hunt who immediately ordered 4,000 new trailers with the improved guards from Wabash. Online Contact Form
  5. Stoughton was the fourth manufacturer to upgrade and was crash tested at the First Underride Roundtable at IIHS on May 5, 2016, three years after our crash. They have made the new guard standard on all new trailers and are offering it at no cost or weight penalty to their customers. Stoughton Contacts

Thank you 3

SAVE THE DATE for the Second Underride Roundtable: Tuesday, August 29, 2017

We will continue to discuss how to bring about


IIHS will once again co-host this event, with the Truck Safety Coalition and AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety, at their Vehicle Research Center.

Partner With Us To Protect Vulnerable Victims of Underride Crashes

Partner with us to bring about a crash test of Aaron Kiefer’s life-saving truck side guard on January 20, 2017. We have thought of a way that you could participate in the production & testing of his latest professional-grade prototype.

We want to know if you would like to receive a specially-designed T-shirt — with Mary & AnnaLeah in mind — for a donation to this UNDERRIDE RESEARCH PROJECT/Crash Test:

  • You would receive a shirt like this for a minimum $20 donation:

    IJK Interactive
  • You would receive a shirt like this for a minimum $25 donation:

    IJK Interactive

We are trying to figure out if we should move ahead with this T-shirt project. Another upcoming T-shirt design will be Christopher. Please let us know if you might like to have one of these shirts to support our underride research efforts in memory of AnnaLeah & Mary.


Aaron Kiefer is making great progress on the development of his innovative side/rear guard for large trucks. Recently, he asked me if I would like to create a logo for the rear aluminum attachment piece of it which will attach to existing rear underride guards — thus strengthening them to better be able to prevent rear underride — and to which the side guard portion attaches.

So I sat down with my family to brainstorm ideas for a logo. A couple of years ago, we had done the same thing to come up with a name and logo for our non-profit organization:

LOGO AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety
design by Isaac Karth, IJK Interactive

Aaron already calls his invention — which uniquely provides continuous protection around the side and rear of trailers — the TrailerGuard System.

In our brainstorming, we decided that we could call the side portion of his life-saving invention the Christopher Guard for the patron saint/advocate of travelers — keeping in mind AnnaLeah’s dragon and calling it Christopher, who would guard against sure death (my idea).


And we could call the rear attachment portion — which is designed to attach to the existing rear guard (making it more likely to prevent the guillotine effect of truck underride) — the Bono Guard for the patron saint, Beuno or Bono (Latin, bonus = good), known for the protection of children  — using the image of Mary’s St. Bernard Gertie (my idea).


Aaron’s invention:

underride-guard-design-by-aaron-kiefer-012 underride-guard-design-by-aaron-kiefer-016 underride-guard-design-by-aaron-kiefer-054 underride-guard-design-by-aaron-kiefer-060

See a crash test of Aaron’s original version of his TrailerSafe System in the Spring of 2016:


More information about Aaron’s invention: http://annaleahmary.com/2016/12/crash-test-of-innovative-large-truck-side-guard-could-advance-side-underride-prevention/

Wonderful memories of Mary and her St. Bernard, Gertie (the inspiration for Bono):

Mary’s Life With Gertie; Her Best Friend to the End