Tag Archives: underride patents

History of Underride Research & Reports: 1896 to 2017

Jerry Karth, Lois Durso, and I recently compiled this extensive list of U.S. underride research, reports, and recommendations beginning in 1896 and continuing to this day. I think that it speaks for itself: effective and comprehensive underride protection is long-overdue. This list is referred to in a recent post on this topic.

1896 This patent for a side underride protective device for street cars was issued on July 14 1896 and cited by numerous more recent underride patents: http://www.google.com.pg/patents/US564027.

1913 A patent was issued in 1913 for a “Safety Device for Motor Vehicles” to provide underride protection for the sides of large trucks. https://www.google.com/patents/US1127241 Since that time, numerous patents have been published which refer to this 1913 patent (with the patent information organized in these columns: Citing Patent, Filing date, Publication date, Applicant, Title):

US4688824 * Mar 4, 1986 Aug 25, 1987 Herring John D Safety device for vehicles
CN100572144C May 27, 2005 Dec 23, 2009 沃尔沃拉斯特瓦格纳公司 Device for a vehicle side anticollision box, and a vehicle comprising such a side anticollision box
US7407204 * Nov 27, 2006 Aug 5, 2008 Volvo Lastvagnar Ab Arrangement for a vehicle side fairing, and a vehicle comprising such a side fairing
US20070085355 * Nov 27, 2006 Apr 19, 2007 Volvo Lastvagnar Ab Arrangement for a vehicle side fairing, and a vehicle comprising such a side fairing
US7780224 Jun 9, 2008 Aug 24, 2010 Vanguard National Trailer Corporation Crash attenuating underride guard
US20080303311 * Jun 9, 2008 Dec 11, 2008 Vanguard National Trailer Corporation Crash attenuating underride guard
US7887120 Jan 26, 2009 Feb 15, 2011 Transtex Composite Inc. Aerodynamic trailer skirts
US7942467 Dec 24, 2009 May 17, 2011 Transtex Composite Inc. Aerodynamic skirt support member
US7942468 Dec 24, 2009 May 17, 2011 Transtex Composite Inc. Aerodynamic skirt securing mechanism
US7942469 Dec 24, 2009 May 17, 2011 Transtex Composite Inc. Aerodynamic skirt panel
US7942470 Dec 24, 2009 May 17, 2011 Transtex Composite Inc. Aerodynamic skirt opening
US7942471 Dec 24, 2009 May 17, 2011 Trnastex Composite Inc. Aerodynamic skirt shape
US20090189414 * Jan 26, 2009 Jul 30, 2009 Mathieu Boivin Aerodynamic trailer skirts
US20100096880 * Dec 24, 2009 Apr 22, 2010 Mathieu Boivin Aerodynamic skirt panel
US20100096882 * Dec 24, 2009 Apr 22, 2010 Mathieu Boivin Aerodynamic skirt opening
US20100096883 * Dec 24, 2009 Apr 22, 2010 Mathieu Boivin Aerodynamic skirt shape
US20100187856 * Dec 24, 2009 Jul 29, 2010 Mathieu Boivin Aerodynamic skirt support member
US20100187856 * Dec 24, 2009 Jul 29, 2010 Mathieu Boivin Aerodynamic skirt support member
US20100264691 * Apr 15, 2010 Oct 21, 2010 Giromini Richard J Side underride cable system for a trailer
US8292351 Apr 3, 2011 Oct 23, 2012 Transtex Composite Inc. Resilient strut for aerodynamic skirt
US9004575 Aug 3, 2011 Apr 14, 2015 Gary Alan Grandominico Aerodynamic skirt assembly
US20110175396 * Apr 3, 2011 Jul 21, 2011 Mathieu Boivin Aerodynamic skirt
US8398150 Apr 17, 2012 Mar 19, 2013 Wabash National, L.P. Side skirt system for a trailer
US8449017 Sep 11, 2012 May 28, 2013 Transtex Composites Inc. Aerodynamic skirt resilient member
US20120169086 * Mar 7, 2012 Jul 5, 2012 Giromini Richard J Side underride cable system for a trailer
US8579359 Jan 15, 2013 Nov 12, 2013 Wabash National, L.P. Side skirt system for a trailer
US8678474 * May 17, 2013 Mar 25, 2014 Transtex Composite Inc. Self-repositioning aerodynamic skirt
US8783758 Mar 19, 2013 Jul 22, 2014 Wabash National, L.P. Folding side skirt system for a trailer
US8801078 Oct 9, 2013 Aug 12, 2014 Wabash National, L.P. Side skirt system for a trailer
US9199676 Jul 2, 2014 Dec 1, 2015 Wabash National, L. P. Side skirt system for a trailer
US9409610 Mar 11, 2015 Aug 9, 2016 Wabash National, L.P. Side skirt system for a trailer
US9573636 Mar 12, 2015 Feb 21, 2017 Ridge Corporation Aerodynamic skirt assembly
US9688320 Oct 27, 2015 Jun 27, 2017 Wabash National, L.P. Side skirt system for a trailer

1969 DOT published a document for rear underride proposed rulemaking on the Federal Register on March 19, 1969, indicating that they “anticipated that the proposed Standard will be amended, after technical studies have been completed, to extend the requirement for underride protection to the sides of large vehicles.” http://annaleahmary.com/2016/03/side-guards-the-original-intent-of-nhtsa-rulemakers-in-the-1969-nprm-docket-no-1-11-notice-2/

1977 Page Patent guard rail for side protection on large wheel vehicles, 1977 US Side Guard Patent US4060268 William Page.pdf

1977 An Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash test research illustrates the ineffectiveness of 1953 rear underride guard.  http://www.iihs.org/externaldata/srdata/docs/sr1206.pdf#page=5

1977 A Senate hearing leads to new calls for stronger underride protections, and illustrates the inadequacies of existing requirements.  http://www.iihs.org/externaldata/srdata/docs/sr1206.pdf   

1996  Volvo began manufacturing trucks with Front Underrun Protection in 1996 in Europe. This is a patent filed in 2007 for an “Underrun protector and method of providing underrun protection.”  http://www.google.sr/patents/WO2008002242A1?cl=en Other relevant information on front underrun protection can be found here: http://annaleahmary.com/tag/front-underrun-protection/

1997 Study illustrates the discrepancies in The Fatal Accident Reporting System (FARS) underride fatality count when compared to the NHTSA database, highlighting that more people are dying from underride than are being recorded. http://www.iihs.org/externaldata/srdata/docs/sr3202.pdf

2009 IIHS begins to call for the requirement of front and side underride guards, as well as improved rear guard requirements in its testimony to US House Committee on Energy and Commerce. file:///C:/Users/LD46500/Downloads/testimony_2009-05-18.pdf

2009 Patent filed for a Side impact guard device for industrial vehicles, particularly trailers or semi-trailers”

US7967349 Apr 7, 2009 Jun 28, 2011 C.R.F. Societa Consortile Per Azioni Side impact guard device for industrial vehicles, particularly trailers or semi-trailers


2010 An evaluation of U.S. rear underride guards meeting federal requirements shows that these protections still allow for severe passenger vehicle underride, often resulting in serious or fatal injury. file:///C:/Users/LD46500/Downloads/22esv-000074.pdf

2011 IIHS crash test study demonstrates that federal underride safety standards can fail in relatively low-speed crashes.http://www.iihs.org/iihs/sr/statusreport/article/46/2/1

2012 Sapa Extrusions (inventor/engineer Malcolm Deighton) filed for a patent in 2012 for a Semi trailer under-run protection device” which they later developed into a rear underride guard which was successfully crash tested on a trailer in April 2017. https://www.google.com/patents/USD703106

2013 New crash test study shows how underride guards on most heavy trucks fail to prevent underride and result in serious injury or fatality.http://www.iihs.org/iihs/news/desktopnews/new-crash-tests-underride-guards-on-most-big-rigs-leave-passenger-vehicle-occupants-at-risk-in-certain-crashes

2015 NTSB recommends that regulators develop performance standards for side and front underride protection systems to improve highway vehicle crash compatibility with passenger vehicles. https://www.ntsb.gov/safety/mwl/Pages/mwl9_2015.aspx  

2015 Aaron Kiefer, crash reconstructionist and forensic engineer, was issued a patent for an innovative combination side & rear trailer underride protection system: https://www.google.com/patents/US9463759 Please see the numerous underride patents referred to in this patent.

2015 This patent for a Trailer rear impact guard cites numerous other underride protection patents: https://www.google.com/patents/USD790407

2016 NHTSA issued a grant to Texas A & M Transportation Institute for computer modeling research on side underride protection. http://www.wusa9.com/news/investigations/truck-trailer-rear-guard-rules-have-huge-holes-safety-experts-say/457353893

2017 IIHS tests side underride guards at 35 mph, and illustrates the dramatic impact side guards have in preventing serious injury and death. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/news/desktopnews/iihs-tests-show-benefits-of-side-underride-guards-for-semitrailers

2017 Seven Hills Engineering, Perry Ponder inventor of Angel Wing Underride Protection successfully crash tested at 35 MPH by IIHS on 3/30/2017 and 40 MPH on 8/29/2017. Patent Pending  http://www.7he.us and http://airflowdeflector.com/airflow-2/

2017 Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety urges DOT to put forth a federal mandate on side underride guards. http://saferoads.org/2017/05/10/advocates-statement-on-need-for-strong-truck-side-underride-guards/

2017 NBC Today Show Link/Story https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/side-underride-crashes-kill-200-people-year-will-congress-act-n711721

2017 DOE has issued grants for a Super Truck project which has included side skirts for fuel efficiency but not for safety. http://annaleahmary.com/2017/02/perfect-opportunity-to-transform-supertruck-into-an-esv-to-advance-underride-protection-dot-doe/

Exposing the Truth about the Truck Underride Conspiracy of Silence

You cannot begin to imagine the riotous cacophony of emotions ricocheting about within this mother’s heart right now. Pain. Grief. Anger. Frustration. Outrage. Heartache.

These last few days, Lois and I have been on a journey together which has taken unexpected turns. After driving cross-country with my son to help him get settled in his new home in Santa Cruz, l took a red-eye flight to Chicago where Lois picked me up from the O’Hare airport.

Our original plan was to get on the highway and head for a cottage in Michigan. But it seemed good to us both to take this opportunity for Lois to give me a glimpse of her daughter Roya — the house where she grew up, a favorite restaurant, a school and church, her grandpa and the home he built, and finally her final resting place here on this earth.

It was a very good and a very hard thing for the two of us to do. And then we headed for my old stomping grounds.

We had made plans to spend a few days at a cottage on Lake Michigan where Jerry and I have created many memories. He and I discovered it one year on a getaway and thereafter brought our kids for many fun family times. It was also where we stayed with our nine children and their families when we returned North for my 90 year-old dad’s funeral in 2011. Twelve year-old Mary took over 600 photos on her hand-me-down camera that trip.

Perhaps you can imagine what it was like to arrive at a place so full of wonderful memories of AnnaLeah and Mary. Bittersweet. Heart-wrenching.

We enjoyed a beautiful sunset over the Lake that evening and contemplated our next steps in getting the Roya, AnnaLeah and Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act of 2017 introduced and passed as we tended a marvelous beach campfire.

The next morning, after sighting a rainbow on the Lake’s horizon, we set out for a local bagel shop to take advantage of their Wi-Fi. It was time to get down to business and compile a list of underride research which has been done over the years.

We had previously put together a list of underride recommendations and reports for the senator who intends to introduce the bill. Now we were responding to a request from her staff to add any additional underride research which we could find so that they could share it with Republican Offices in hopes of persuading them to jump on board with her in leading the way with this life-preserving legislation.

History of Underride Research & Reports: 1896 to 2017

In summary, this legislation is so vitally important because — all too often — it is not the collision of a car with a truck which is responsible for an ensuing tragedy but the lack of adequate underride protection. This results in a second collision where the truck collides with the passengers in the car and what is known as Passenger Compartment Intrusion (PCI) which occurs with truck underride.

The day before, we had updated Jerry and asked him to look for underride patents online. I knew of a couple in particular which we had already discovered in our unwelcome truck safety advocacy journey. What he then uncovered was beyond belief.

Jerry sent us a link to a U.S. patent for a side underride device invented in 1913. What?! That was before my 90 year-old father, who has been gone for six years, was born. Over a century ago!

But that’s not all! That patent from 1913 has been cited by 26 more recent patents — ones filed by engineers working on their own ideas for solving the problem of defective truck design which allows pedestrians, cyclists, motorcycles, and passenger vehicles to ride under the side of commercial motor vehicles. Unbelievable!

As if that were not enough to cause outrage to well up, we made another discovery as we began work on updating the research list. Jerry had also sent a link to an 1896 patent for a side underride device for streetcars. Again, this patent has been cited by numerous other patents for underride protection.

In the end, we were able to compile an extensive list of underride research, reports, and recommendations on front, side, and rear underride which provides incriminating evidence of an apparent conspiracy of silence. The negligence on the part of the trucking industry and the federal government to take the initiative to do whatever is necessary in order to protect the citizens of this country from a known deadly defect is appalling.

They can no longer cling to an excuse of ignorance. They have had more than enough time to put their heads together and come up with viable solutions.

The blood of countless underride victims has been unnecessarily shed. Our precious daughters have paid the price.

Whereas it is clear that there have been many individuals who have put forth effort to solve the underride problem, the overall inaction, on the part of the industry and government, and their refusal to take responsibility for effective collaboration to find a solution has taken its toll on American families. When will this behind-closed-doors conspiracy of silence end? Very soon, I hope! In fact, we have seen significant progress in recent years — although too little and too late to save our daughters.

I know that tomorrow, as Lois and I visit the cemetery where AnnaLeah and Mary saw their grandpa buried less than two years before we buried them close by, l will weep bitter tears. I only hope that our combined efforts will be fruitful and turn the tide.

I have often shared a photo of AnnaLeah and Mary with their arms raised in joyous victory. Yesterday, l was able, for the first time, to visit the luge victors’ stand in Muskegon State Park’s winter sports complex where that photo was taken. It broke my heart to see it empty and know that they will never be able to stand there again.

I look forward to the day when I can share their victory photo once more with the world because a step will have been taken to end this travesty once and for all. Mary will get her wish to be famous somehow.

May it be so. To God be the glory for orchestrating this difficult and long-time-in-coming strategy to end preventable underride tragedies.

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