Tag Archives: underride research

DOE pours millions into SuperTruck fuel savings research projects; $0 devoted to side underride protection?

How is it that the DOE and Volvo poured resources into research and development of SuperTrucks but did not bother to (as far as I can tell, though I am not done looking into this yet) include improved underride protection as a goal of this project?!

  1. http://www.truckinginfo.com/ channel/fuel-smarts/news/ story/2016/09/volvo-s- supertruck-exceeds-epa- freight-efficiency-goals.aspx
  2. I have not been able to get Wabash to return my communications. I am trying to find out if they did any crash testing with their full-length skirts or what material it is made out of: http://news. wabashnational.com/wabash- national-demonstrates- concepts-for-next-generation- aerodynamic-solutions-on- navistars-supertruck
  3. DOE’s Navistar : http://www.truckinginfo.com/ news/story/2016/09/navistar- supertruck-beats-doe- efficiency-goals-hits-13-mpg. aspx
  4. Aerodynamic improvements that reduce the trailer’s drag coefficient by more than 30%. The vehicle is part of the DOE’s SuperTruck program – a five-year research and development initiative aimed at improving freight efficiency, based in the measure of the payload carried while burning less fuel.

Its objective is to develop and demonstrate a 50% improvement in overall freight efficiency on a Class 8 tractor-trailer vehicle as measured in ton-miles per gallon of diesel fuel.

Could they not have combined resources with DOT to accomplish such a thing?

Again, cost-savings over life-savings.

Can we use the potential fuel efficiency cost-savings of side guards advantageously to win the cost/benefit analysis battle?

Super Truck II is announced! Let’s get DOT to be involved with this project! $20,000 fuel savings/year could go to safety research!!!!!!!!!!!!

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz was present for the unveiling of Volvo’s SuperTruck concept/demo rig in Washington, D.C. Here’s what he had to say about reaching the DOE’s next step in the fuel economy/freight efficiency project: SuperTruck II. http://www.truckinginfo. com/video/detail/2016/09/on- the-spot-reaching-for- supertruck-ii-video.aspx

More information on this SuperTruck project and random frustrated reactions:

$20 million in federal funding for the Super Truck II project and we can’t get diddly for side guard research?!?!?!!?!

http://www.truckinginfo.com/channel/fuel-smarts/news/story/2016/08/volvo-group-outlines-supertruck-ii-plans.aspx  Volvo Group has outlined how it plans to use $20 million in federal funding to further the freight-moving efficiency of heavy-duty trucks as part of the SuperTruck II initiative.

Volvo Group said its team of researchers and engineers will use alternative engine designs and an integrated system approach to build a lightweight tractor-trailer concept that will exceed the freight efficiency goal of 100% improvement on a ton-mile-per-gallon basis compared to a 2009 baseline. The team is also tasked with demonstrating powertrain capable of 55% brake thermal efficiency. Volvo Group and its partners will match the development funds dollar-for-dollar.

To achieve these goals, the company plans to leverage its experience in vehicle development along with established partnerships with advanced technology and trailer equipment vendors.

Those partners include Michelin Americas Research Company for tires, Wabash National for trailers, Metalso for lightweight frames, Johnson-Matthey for exhaust aftertreatment systems, and Peloton Technology for platooning and connected vehicle tech. . .

Daimler Trucks North America will develop and demonstrate a tractor-trailer combination using a suite of technologies including active aerodynamics, cylinder deactivation, hybridization, and the electrification of accessories. . .

For more information on the DOE’s alternative fuel technology investment, click herehttps://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/vehicle-technologies-office

Related: DOE Commits $137M to Advance Fuel-Efficient Tech  http://www.truckinginfo.com/channel/fuel-smarts/news/story/2016/08/doe-commits-137-million-to-advance-fuel-efficient-tech.aspx

Yet more disturbing information:

This gives links to multiple articles on the SuperTruck project: http://www.truckinginfo.com/list/tag/supertruck.aspx

Trailer aerodynamics have become increasingly important in recent years as truck operators see that they can save fuel money. They’re so important that the federal government is paying several teams of truck and trailer makers to design concept rigs that show what’s possible in this area of science.

As far back as the 1980s I’ve written about various types of trailer aero fairings, from Nose Cones to TrailerTails and many brands of skirts and other appendages in between.

Here’s one I don’t recall writing about, at least not lately: the UnderTray and other products from SmartTruck. The company has posted a YouTube video depicting a tractor-trailer moving through the air at highway speed, with streamlines showing how the devices smooth air flow over the vehicle. Check it out here

Also note the Diffuser, SmartTruck’s device mounted ahead of the rear underride guard that redirects air away from its vertical and horizontal members. These otherwise grab at the air and create drag. (Old timers still call this the “ICC bumper” because the old Interstate Commerce Commission required them, something I definitely don’t recall being a fact, but it’s part of trucking vocabulary.)

The trailer portion of Freightliner’s SuperTruck of course got large panels that improve air flow around corners, deep skirts to keep air away from the Strick van’s undercarriage and tandem, and a boat tail similar to a Trailer Tail, but home-made. One would expect all of those.

What?!?!?!?!?!?! All of this government money going into research & development for fuel savings but not a word or project related to underride protection/SAFETY?!

Side Underride Kills; Side Guards Save Lives: Support Underride Research

We are raising money to move side underride research and side guard development forward. Support side guard research projects, which will help get affordable and effective side guards on the market. Donate here.

This is what we want to support:

Project #1: Continuation of Aaron Kiefer‘s Side Underride Prevention Research
The tragic Tesla fatal crash on May 7, 2016, highlights a real and present highway danger — cars sliding underneath large trucks when vehicles collide. No matter what caused the Tesla crash, the driver might have lived if the truck had had side guards.

U.S. & Canadian safety advocates are calling for an end to preventable truck underride tragedies. Hundreds of people die every year when pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, and passenger vehicles go underneath trucks.

It can happen to anyone — even if their car has a 5-Star Crash Rating. It can happen anywhere. It happened to AnnaLeah (17) & Mary Karth (13), when their car went under the rear of a semi-trailer on May 4, 2013, in Georgia. And it happened to Jessica Holman-Price (21) when she went under the side of a truck as a pedestrian on December 19, 2005, in Canada.

U.S. regulators have debated for decades about how to stop the tragedy of underride deaths – including, since 1969, the possibility of requiring underride protection to be added to the sides of large trucks. But they have not done so, even though engineers have already found ways to solve this problem.

The work that we have done has actually put us into contact with others working on the underride guards. One such person is Aaron Kiefer who is currently an accident research specialist in North Carolina. He has designed a guard that can be retro-fitted onto current truck guards to improve their strength and reduce underride. He has crash tested it successfully and now needs to do further research to refine the design to be ready for the industry.

This will include the following expenses: aluminum extrusions for the rear reinforcement attachments ($28,000) and an aluminum side guard slide to allow for truck driver functionality in pre-trip inspections of tires ($18,000); development of a prototype for a system at the trailer front, which will allow the side guard to flare up 20-30 degrees when the air brakes are turned off, and back down when the brakes are turned on ($23,000) – again to aid in pre-trip inspections and changing tires; and crash testing to validate and verify the effectiveness of the TrailerGuard System ($43,000). Total Costs for Side Guard Research & Development = $112,000 – a project and cost which is currently not being taken up by the trucking industry. When Aaron’s work is completed, the underride protection system would be ready for a manufacturer to produce and sell to the trucking industry.

Project #2:  Collegiate Side Underride Protection Design Competition A collision between the back of a commercial motor vehicle and a passenger vehicle too often results in underride in which the occupants of the smaller vehicle experience horrific injuries usually leading to tragic death. For too many decades, the question of under what circumstances this can be prevented has been left unanswered and the industry solutions have been mostly weak and ineffective.

While the crash testing conducted by the IIHS and our own efforts in recent years to change this have brought about some improvement in rear underride guards, the question has still not been definitively addressed. As Bill Graves, the former president of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) said in a 2011 ABC article,

“’It doesn’t provide the kind of underguard protection that clearly is called for. . .’ Graves said, though, that the right barrier design is a ‘complicated puzzle to solve. . . That’s the question the federal government has been wrestling now for many years, is what’s the strength we want,’ he said. ‘What’s too much? And what’s not enough?’” (http://abcnews.go.com/Business/road-warning-death-big-rig-guillotine/story?id=13026797 Lisa Stark, March 1, 2011 )

Because side underride has received less countermeasure effort, and is not currently being addressed by the trailer manufacturing industry itself, this project will also organize a collegiate design competition to challenge engineering students to design affordable and effective side underride protection for large trucks.

Collaborative, interdisciplinary research teams from various universities will identify the outer limits of effective side underride protection, i.e., ascertain the optimum levels of energy absorption and rigidity both to prevent underride and also to result in survivable (and without life-altering injuries) deceleration forces at the maximum speed possible (at various angles).

Two student teams (up to ten students on each team) will be selected by IIHS to receive funding from the grant for their project expenses (up to $15,000, as needed). The two teams will each meet with IIHS early in the process to define the single demonstration crash test that will be performed on the winning design.

The two teams will, also, be expected to provide four written reports (mid-Fall Semester, end of Fall Semester, mid-Spring Semester, and end of academic year) – including a report on their design’s capabilities using computer simulation. They will also be expected to make a final group presentation at an event scheduled at the IIHS Vehicle Research Center in Ruckersville, Virginia, at the end of the academic year.

One team’s project will be selected, by a group of 6 judges, for crash testing at this event. The Traffic Safety Ombudsman will oversee this project and recruit 5 judges in addition to the judge from the IIHS.

In addition, each team must include students and/or consult with professionals in relevant fields of study/research/expertise, including but not limited to mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, injury prevention, collision reconstruction, trailer manufacturing, marketing, and law (to do a law review of the cost/benefit analysis in underride rulemaking as well as manufacturer liability issues in this matter).

(See the excellent work done by a Virginia Tech Senior Design Team in the 2015/16 academic year: http://tinyurl.com/j9rl3kw )


The side guard research has the potential to save 1,534 lives in the next ten years. (Per the NHTSA Truck Underride Statistics Chart, 1994-2014:  http://annaleahmary.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Truck-Underride-Deaths-by-TYPE-1994-2014.pdf)

AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is eligible to receive contributions that may be tax deductible for the donor. Your donation will help fund research that will save lives!


Other ways to help: How You Can Help

The Crash Death Clock is ticking; America will soon reach 4 million crash deaths.

The Crash Death Clock is ticking; America will soon reach 4 million crash deaths.

What can you do to slow the highway carnage to a crawl?


CBA Victim Cost Benefit Analysis Victim

Support side guard crash testing to prevent deadly truck side underride: Donate at AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety, 501(c)(3)

“‘He pled the cause of the afflicted and needy;
Then it was well.
Is not that what it means to know Me?’ declares the LORD.

“For he will deliver the needy when he cries for help,
The afflicted also, & him who has no helper.
He will have compassion on the poor & needy,
And the lives of the needy he will save.
He will rescue their life from oppression & violence;
And their blood will be precious in his sight.”
Jeremiah 22:16 and Psalm 72:12-14

Crash Test of Innovative Large Truck Side Guard Could Advance Side Underride Prevention

Crash reconstructionist/forensic engineer Aaron Kiefer continues to develop his ideas for an innovative side/rear underride guard to protect all vulnerable victims from deadly truck underride.

Aaron has identified new materials to make his design stronger, more effective at preventing underride, and user-friendly for the truck drivers. The only thing is that he is doing this work on his own time aside from his regular job of reconstructing crash scenes. He turned to us to ask if we could help him raise some money for his upcoming side guard crash test so that he can prove that his invention will save lives.

You can help Aaron purchase the necessary materials for his next crash test. Our current goal is to raise $3,000* by early next year.

Donate at the ALMFTS website here which our family set up for traffic safety research through our 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety.

We received our IRS letter of approval in 2015 and are listed as a non-profit with Guidestar: http://www.guidestar.org/profile/47-4379503


* Crash Test Materials Include the Following:

  • $500 would buy the necessary polyester webbing  (12,000 lb/in), which gives Aaron’s invention unusual strength.
  • $500 more would buy the car to crash —  a Malibu
  • $500 more would buy the rear reinforcement aluminum plate and water jet cutting
  • $500 more would allow Aaron to purchase the aluminum extrusion for reinforcement/rear guard connector
  • $500 additional would pay for the FRP panel (2 x 190 ft rolls). Just today, Aaron had a sample of this plastic panel successfully sewn together with the polyester webbing — a good sign that this design, with these materials, could provide a strong innovative option for side underride protection on large trucks for pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, and passenger vehicles.
  • $3,000 TOTAL would allow Aaron to purchase the entire CRASH TEST SET: Panel/webbing/aluminum/assembly/labor (industrial sewing)

Please share this post so others can join in this vital effort to make affordable and effective side guards available to the trucking industry. Thank you!

How I came to be a presenter on underride research at the TRB 1st Int’l Roadside Safety Conference

How is it that I came to be a presenter at the Transportation Research Board’s First International Roadside Safety Conference, June 12-15, 2017, in San Francisco?

  1. Well, of course, first off I was in a horrific truck underride crash that took the lives of my two daughters, AnnaLeah (17) and Mary (13) on May 4, 2013.
  2. IMG_4465Car Safety Wars
  3. Then, I learned that underride guards are terribly ineffective and all sorts of other unbelievable information about the state of safety on our roads.
  4. I also came in contact with many other people who are trying like me to improve underride protection in order to prevent other people from dying like my girls did.
  5. Then, my family and I gathered thousands of petition signatures calling for improvement and worked with other organizations to plan an Underride Roundtable on May 5, 2016, at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
  6. So, then, in June 2016, after preparing an Underride Consensus document to present to DOT, I serendipitously found out about an upcoming roadside safety conference.
  7. I was copied (by mistake) on an email sent to some PhD students, reminding them of a deadline to submit an abstract to be considered for possible presentation at this conference.
  8. So, after checking with the email sender to see if underride was appropriate for this conference, I prepared an abstract and submitted it on June 28, 2016.
  9. I then got busy doing many other things including preparing a Comprehensive Underride Consensus Petition and forgot about the conference.
  10. Lo, and behold, I received another email on September 2, 2016,                                   Dear Marianne, Congratulations!The Planning Group for TRB’s First International Roadside Safety Conference appreciates your submission of the abstract entitled Promising Research for Improved Heavy Vehicle Underride Prevention Structures and Data to Demonstrate Boundaries of Occupant Survivability in Collisions Between Large Trucks and Passenger Vehicles. We are pleased to inform you that we have selected your abstract for Presentation and Publication.

     In order to proceed with the conference planning in a timely manner, the planning group asks that you upload your files no later than November 1, 2016.

  11. Well, I was amazed and not sure whether it made sense to proceed. It is not exactly the target audience to whom I would have imagined making a presentation. But if their focus is roadside safety, then I will take the opportunity to raise awareness about the underride problem and solutions.
  12. So, on November 1, 2016, I uploaded my revised abstract and underride research presentation paper.
  13. May the Lord bless this endeavor and work mightily to improve underride protection internationally.
  14. If He wills, San Francisco, here I come
  15. Best ProtectionRoads Safer

FedEx denies request for underride safety research donation of decommissioned 53′ trailer

The trucking industry needs to answer the same question which Senator Robert Kennedy posed to GM in 1965: “What was your profit in 2015? And how much money did you spend on safety research in 2015?”

GM’s answer was a safety expenditure figure that was below 1% of their total profit. Which, in my book, makes “safety” a meaningless word.

Yesterday, I received a reply from FedEx, after following their procedure for requesting a donation. Our non-profit, AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety, completed a FedEx charitable assistance application in which we asked them to donate a used, decommissioned 53′ trailer to be used for underride research.

Like in the research undertaken this spring by Aaron Kiefer to crash test his innovative side/rear underride guard protection system. Like the kind of safety measure which could have prevented Joshua Brown from being killed when his Tesla underrode the side of a trailer.

They denied our request. What was FedEx’s reason for denying our request? FedEx email denying safety research trailer donation request

Good day Marianne,

Thank you again for contacting FedEx Freight for charitable assistance. We applaud the work AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety is doing.

After careful review, unfortunately, we must decline your request for the donation of a 53′ trailer.

FedEx Freight works directly with manufacturers and national organizations to support road safety for both our team members and the motoring public.

We wish you success with future endeavors.



Iris Coetzee, Senior Communications Specialist

Bah humbug! I would like to know exactly how they work directly with manufacturers and national organizations to support road safety. Spell it out for me. Tell me exactly:

  • How much money they spend on safety.
  • and what percentage that amount is of their total profit.
  • and exactly what that money actually goes for.

I would like to know that information about the whole trucking industry which has opposed and resisted improved underride protection for decades resulting in countless dead people who didn’t have to die if only the trucking industry had acted in a timely and responsible way. And not just for 2015, but for every year since the underride problem was discovered.

I put together a chart for recording that kind of information juxtapositioned against some of the major life events which occurred for me during all of the years when — for the most part as far as I can see the trucking industry did practically nothing “to support road safety for both our team members and the motoring public” — at least in the area of underride prevention. And when they did, it was because we put pressure on their pocketbook.

I’d like to see some investigative reporter dig up this kind of information because I doubt that the industry would give it to me.




Call has gone out for engineering students & prof’ls to develop innovative truck underride designs.

SAE just posted our request for engineering students and professionals to take on the pursuit of solving the deadly underride problem. Last year at this time, similar efforts led to connecting with Aaron Kiefer, crash reconstructionist/inventor, and Jared Bryson with his Virginia Tech Senior Underride Design Dream Team.

Underride Roundtable May 5, 2016 153 Underride Roundtable May 5, 2016 103VA Tech Team with installed guard on rigVirginia Tech Dream Team 2016 PhotoUnderride guard design by Aaron Kiefer 011Underride guard design by Aaron Kiefer 059

International Call for Underride Research Re: Injury Prevention & Energy Absorption Issues

A year ago, I put together a request for underride design proposals.

As a result of that, I came in contact with some awesome underride prevention researchers from around the globe, including:

  • Aaron Kiefer:
  1. Innovative combined side & rear guard promises better underride protection
  2. Imagine a truck UNDERRIDE GUARD which provides REAR & SIDE protection.
  3. Witnessed safety defect in action at underride crash tests; this is what snuffed out my daughters’ lives.
  4. Just got home from the latest side guard crash test. Watch it here!
  • the Virginia Tech Senior Underride Design Team and their advisors, Jared Bryson and Robin Ott:
  1. Virginia Tech Senior Design Project is Addressing the Need for Stronger Underride Guards; Mid-Semester Progress Report
  2. Senior Underride Design Project Mid-Year Report Presented by Virginia Tech Students
  3. Virginia Tech Senior Underride Design Team Spring Midterm Report
  4. Hurrah! VA Tech Sr. Dream Team has attached their underride guard to a trailer!
  5. VA Tech Student Engineers Shine in Underride Roundtable Presentation

This year, I am putting together another request for underride design proposals. This time, I would like to be a little bit more specific and put out a call for research and data to put to rest, once and for all, the controversy over underride guard rigidity/strength and the potential for unintended injuries from too rigid guards. I would like to see it result in data which could lead to design of the best possible underride protection and practical solutions for underride guards to incorporate energy absorption components where appropriate.

Beyond that, because the crashworthiness of passenger vehicles could change over time, I would hope that the information compiled from past research and/or new research completed in the coming year would provide practical means for updating underride prevention technology in the future.

I hope to submit an abstract by June 30, 2016 to be considered for the presentation of compiled research and data on these issues at the First International Roadside Safety Conference in San Francisco in June 2017, as well as at future Underride Roundtables and made available to the engineering and trailer manufacturing community.

If only

instead of like this:


Note: At the Knights of the Underride Roundtable on June 24, 2016, we briefly discussed the decades-old controversy of “too rigid guards” causing unintended injuries, deceleration forces, need for energy absorption, etc.

Yesterday, I recorded my thoughts about this confusing issue. I hope some will take the time to listen. In any case, expressing it was helpful to me as a survivor of an underride crash which killed my two daughters:

AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety underride research goals

SIGN  & SHARE the TRAFFIC SAFETY OMBUDSMAN Petition:  https://wh.gov/i6kUj

PLEASE NOTE: If you sign the petition, be sure to go to your email. We the People will send you an email which will say this in the subject line:  “Almost done! Verify your Petitions.WhiteHouse.gov account.” Follow the instructions to verify your signature.

Important Follow-up to the Underride Roundtable, June 24 at IIHS: The Work Continues

We have scheduled a follow-up meeting to the Underride Roundtable on Friday, June 24, at 10:00 a.m. at the IIHS offices in Arlington, VA. Further details will be shared when available.

We will mainly be discussing the proposed Australian underride rule with a presentation by Raphael Grzebieta from Australia. It is our hope that this will help the United States assess the relevancy of Australia’s progressive work to the future of underride rulemaking for improved protection in our country.

News of this proposed rule:

Other topics — relevant to our goal of reducing underride crashes, fatalities, and severe injuries — will be addressed to some extent, including side and front underride/override, retrofitting, SUTs/exempt trucks, conspicuity, parking.  Future meetings are anticipated in order to continue working on the preventable underride problem.

In addition to the underride rule from Australia, comments from Detlef Alwes of Germany should be carefully reviewed by anyone who holds responsibility for advancing underride protection. This is the most important point which he has made to me over & over in his communication with me via email:

Real energy absorbing underrun protection crash structures or deformation zones on commercial vehicles should become standard, as they have been on passenger cars for decades.

Here is a presentation on underride protection prepared by Detlef: Proposal for an Energy Absorbing Underrun Protection System for Commercial Vehicles

After observing the webcast of the Underride Roundtable, Detlef also made the following recommendations which he would like shared with interested parties in the United States who bear responsibility for the advancement of underride protection.

In my opinion the following points should be addressed for rulemaking:
  • real energy absorbing underrun protection system design (the current UP systems are rigid structures to be avoided).
  • lateral proof loads to be considered in design and testing.
  • instead of dot-like test loads, the test loads should be defined area-like distributed.
  • the test collision speed should be higher (just in Germany, the collision velocities are much higher than these of the current crash tests because most highways have no speed limitation).
  • the ‘Follow-up Underride Roundtable’ should develop Underrun Protection Guidelines and discuss them on UN/ECE level (WP29). “

Detlef’s last recommendation should be given serious consideration, as underride protection is not unique to one country or another. Saving lives is saving lives.

The UN/ECE level (WP29) aims for worldwide technical harmonization of vehicles: The worldwide technical harmonisation of vehicles is governed by two international agreements – the 1958 Agreement and the 1998 parallel Agreement. These agreements establish harmonised requirements at global level to ensure high levels of safety, environmental protection, energy efficiency, and theft protection. Both agreements help eliminate existing technical barriers to trade and prevent the creation of new ones. The involvement of the EU enables easy access to non-EU markets for manufacturers.

This is Detlef’s experience with this kind of collaborative process:

This suggestion is based on my experience in another field: I was the German representative in an international committee for space debris mitigation (IADC: Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee). The 11 members of the space leading nations have developed the so-called ‘Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines’.

These Guidelines have been presented to the UN, to the Scientific Subcommittee of UNCOPUOS (UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space). In this Committee the UN Guidelines for Space Debris Mitigation have been worked out and ratified. It was confirmed by the Committee that this process was very effective and very fast – exemplary. The initiative was started by US (NASA), Europe (ESA) and Russia.

It would be great, if we could establish also such an international committee to develop underrun protection guidelines, which we present to the UN/ECE WP 29. The Proposal to the WP 29 can be put on the agenda by the heads of delegation of the represented nations. Maybe such a process can be started by the initiative of you, the IIHS, the NHTSA and others. According my experience, the German governmental authorities will not be initiative to start. They will follow if it works no longer differently.

His reaction to the Virginia Tech team was this:

Yes, I followed this presentation. At the beginning, I thought that there are good concepts but than I was a little bit disappointed about the chosen reference concept, which is near the conventional barriers with small energy absorbing struts. It is a pity that a more effective underride protection system is owed the opinion that it gets too expensive. My suggestion is to start with a realistic energy absorbing underride protection system, and when effective, one can continue with mass and cost saving measures.

I asked Detlef what he thought of crash testing at higher speeds:

Me: I don’t know if you noticed in the webcast, but I raised the question multiple times about why we were not testing at higher speeds and could we please do so. 

Detlef: Yes, I noticed that, and I fully agree. I am wondering that the ADAC in Germany is testing also at 56 km/h, corresponding to 35 mph. That is not very realistic,  just were in Germany on most highways is no speed limitation, and therefore in most cases the collision velocities are much higher, although if a braking action in the last moment has been taken.

Detlef: Some organisations require higher proof loads, to which bumpers have to withstand. This means that the bumpers of the trucks become stiffer and stiffer. Actual bumpers have to withstand these static dot-like proof loads in longitudinal direction and may break if they are exceeded. This should not be the intention for a crash compatible partnership between the trucks and passenger cars. Decades of discussions in international committees have failed to develop bumper technology beyond what it was in the 1950s. The message should be: Energy absorbing underrun protection structures on commercial vehicles should become standard, as they are on passenger cars for decades.

Detlef watched the Underride Roundtable livestreaming and had submitted a question about oblique impact to the panel discussion:


I hope the sketch will express what I mean. In the case of an oblique impact on the reaqr side of a truck, the lateral test loads/forces are not defined, only the longitudinal loads/forces in P1, P2 and P3. The damage in the case of an oblique impact can be higher than in the case of an impact in the direction of the longitudinal axes.

Oblique Impact Drawing Detlef Alwes

Offset tests show that the passenger car is turning due to the offset of the Center of Gravities of both cars. But also in this case, the lateral loads/forces are not considered in the regulations.

Underride is a decades-old problem. I look forward to a future less plagued by such preventable tragedies.

Underride Roundtable May 5, 2016 034 Underride Roundtable May 5, 2016 080Underride Roundtable May 5, 2016 032 Underride Roundtable May 5, 2016 024

Underride Roundtable Timeline Victim families by Underride Timeline Underride Roundtable May 5, 2016 169 Underride Roundtable May 5, 2016 141 Underride Roundtable May 5, 2016 008 Roundtable Display Table Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy ALMFTS facebook banner

LIKE this law firm’s facebook page & they will donate $2 to AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety (May only)

Here is a simple way to help AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety. During May, LIKE this law firm’s page: https://www.facebook.com/NurenbergParis/ For each LIKE, Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy – Cleveland, Ohio will donate $2 to ALMFTS (up to $1,500). We could really use this for our truck safety/underride efforts.

Please LIKE & then SHARE! Thanks!

ALMFTS logo on truck