Tag Archives: underride rulemaking

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

Becoming educated about underride was not a direction I had planned on going with my life and time. But I have gained a great deal of knowledge related to the fact that AnnaLeah’s and Mary’s deaths (and Roya’s, too, along with countless other individual loved ones) might have been prevented had adequate underride protection been on the truck, into which our sturdy Crown Vic crashed — along with the fact that many more countless, unknown individuals will die unless this country takes decisive action.

This information, along with my unresolved grief due to the frustration of knowing that years have gone by without effective protection, fuels my efforts to work collaboratively to bring about widespread and significant change. It is now my aim to equip everyone with the same information — without the accompanying unwanted grief.

The reason we are devoting our lives to pounding on this door and asking for change is that our daughters may have lost their lives due to the lack of a Vision Zero policy. A decision which concluded that recommended changes would not be cost effective—in other words, that it would supposedly cost more to implement safety measures than the lives saved would be worth—may have led to lax underride guard standards.

If the best possible protection had been pursued when the regulations were last updated (1996), the trucks on the road today (including the one on the road May 4, 2013) might be much safer to be driving around. Mary and AnnaLeah might even still be around.

So, here is Part III of Truck Underride 101.

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

  1. Public Comments on Underrride Rulemaking & Cost/Benefit Analysis: Public Comments Re: Cost/Benefit Analysis in NHTSA Proposed Underride Rulemaking on Rear Guards for Tractor-Trailers & for Single Unit Trucks and       Current NHTSA #Underride Rulemaking (Cost/Benefit Analysis): Summary of Public Comments and http://annaleahmary.com/2016/10/dot-omb-are-you-using-cea-or-cba-rulemaking-road-to-zero-requires-vision-zero-rulemaking/

  2. Jerry Karth’s Public Comments on Underride Rulemaking: Comments on the NPRM for Rear Underride Guards on Trailers and Reflections from a bereaved dad on the Underride Roundtable & what that means for rulemaking

  3. Underride Statistics 

  4. The Future of Trucking: Who pays for the costs of safer roads?

    I thought about all of this, on a recent trip “back home”, as I reflected on the plight of small trucking companies and independent owner-operator truck drivers. Are the costs of owning a company and the pressure to drive many miles creating a situation where they won’t be able to stay in business?

    Frequently, I hear that changes of one kind or another in the trucking industry–in order to improve safety (i.e., reduce crashes, injuries and deaths)–will result in increased costs for the trucking companies. I hear that it will put them out of business.

    Is this true? According to whom and based on what information? If it is true, then does something need to change in the trucking industry itself in order to allow for the beneficial work, which trucking provides, to continue but to also allow for truckers to make a decent living wage–without jeopardizing their health and the safety of travelers on the roads? . . .  Read more here: The Future of Trucking; Who pays for the costs of safer roads?

  5. Whose lives are you going to sacrifice? If decisive action is not taken to end these preventable deaths, then who should we hold responsible? Whose lives are we thereby choosing to sacrifice?

  6. TTMA: Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association Reminds NHTSA Why Side Guards Are Not Cost Effective, May 18, 2016 post:

    Yesterday morning, I checked my email and saw that there was a new Public Comment posted on the Federal Register regarding the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Underride Guards.

    I quickly went to the site and saw that the Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association had posted a comment (see their comments in the PDFs below). Apparently our Underride Roundtable two weeks ago at IIHS has spurred them to spell out the steps which have been taken over the years to squash side guards from being mandated and manufactured to prevent smaller passenger vehicles from riding under trucks upon collision with the side of the larger vehicle.

    TTMA_Side_Impact_Main_Comment_2016-05-13

    TTMA_Side_impact_Exhibits_A-D_2016-05-13

    Their rationale: Cost/Benefit Analysis shows that adding side guard to trucks is “not cost-effective”. From this post: Truck Trailer Manufacturers Ass’n “Reminds” NHTSA: Side Guards Are “Not Cost-Effective” Says Who? 

    I am encouraged by the closing paragraph of the TTMA letter to NHTSA:

    TTMA would support the implementation of side guards if they ever become justified and technologically feasible. We continue to support the NHTSA review of Petitioners’ requests and stand ready to partner in the development of justified and feasible designs if they possibly emerge. Jeff Simms, President

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

IV. Win/Win

V. Bipartisan Discussion of Legislative Strategy

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

Rank

Manufacturer

2016

2015

Totals:

314,966

337,861

http://trailer-bodybuilders.com/trailer-output/2016-trailer-production-figures-table

Side Guard Petition Book Part 1

Side Guard Petition Book Part 2

Side Guard Petition Book Part 3

Thanks to Clarence Ditlow Review of 1981 Underride Rule Sheds Light on Current Rulemaking Concerns

In June 2016, I received a link from Clarence Ditlow to a regulations.gov Federal Register 1981 proposed truck underride rule. As I was reflecting on Clarence’s recent death and his life as a car safety advocate, I remembered that email.

When I was able to locate the email, I realized that I had not fully read the proposed rule, so I took some time this morning to do so and have recorded highlights of that document below. Points or questions not in quotes are my own thoughts.

Because this was a lengthy summary, I am going to include a link for the reader:                “Old Underride Petition”; Highlights of a 1981 Rear Underride Rule

Federal Register Docket and Full Proposed Rule pdf can be found here: Rear Impact Guards/Protection: Docket ID: NHTSA-1996-1827

What I would like to know is whether NHTSA will be reviewing prior documents and research (such as this represents) as well as take into account the impact that advances in technology and knowledge when preparing future underride rulemaking? Just for example, would the crashworthiness of “modern” passenger vehicles (e.g., the installation of air bags) change the conclusions drawn in this document?

I would also like to know what the actual cost/benefit analysis formula was which they used in this document as well as in the current underride rulemaking. Does it take a Vision Zero/Road to Zero approach? And would they think that my daughters were worth saving?

Some of the key points of this 1981 proposed underride rule include:

  1. “The agency had tentatively determined that a better regulation was needed because of the continuing problem of fatalities and serious injuries occurring in accidents involving excessive underride, and because of the absence of efforts by the vehicle manufacturers generally to go sufficiently beyond the BMCS requirement.”

  2. “In 1971, after evaluating cost and accident data and reviewing all information received in response to the notices, NHTSA terminated those rulemaking efforts. The Administrator of the agency concluded that the safety benefits achievable with the particular type of underride guard then contemplated would not be commensurate with the cost of implementing the standard.”

  3. “The agency had estimated that the proposed rule would save 50-100 lives per year at an annual cost to the consumer of $500,000,000 .”

  4. “Most of the implementation costs estimated by NHTSA were related to the increase in guard weight which it thought was necessary to meet the proposed requirements.”

  5. “Efforts to improve underride protection resumed in 1977, after the Auto-Truck Crash Safety Hearing was held by Senator Wendell H. Ford. This hearing was the direct result of a program conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in 1976.”

  6. “This program focused on the problem of preventing excessive underride. IIHS performed five tests in which passengers car were crashed into the rear of a typical semi-trailer van.

  7. “In addition, the TTI program tested a hydraulic energy-absorbing guard manufactured by Quinton-Hazell Automotive Ltd. (Quinton-Hazell). (An energy-absorbing guard is one that dissipates the energy of the impact in a controlled manner.)”

  8. “The Quinton-Hazell device was very effective both at preventing excessive underride, reducing occupant injury responses, and reducing damage to the colliding vehicle.”

  9. “Despite their apparent advantages, NHTSA will not mandate the use of energy-absorbing underride devices at this time because the agency feels that they are heavy and costly to use.”
  10. “NHTSA encourages the use of energy absorbing guards in light of their ability to mitigate injuries, as evidenced by the testing and the risk analysis.”
  11. “NHTSA stresses that the requirements set forth in the proposed rule are minimum requirements. If adopted truck and trailer manufacturers and owners would be able to place any type of underride guard — rigid, energy-absorbing, moderate strength, etc. — on their vehicle that meets the requirements of the rule.”
  12. “In light of the results of the risk analysis, however, the agency suggests that manufacturers interested in guards stronger than moderate load design consider using hydraulics or other means to absorb energy rather than merely making the guards more rigid.”
  13. “NHTSA estimates that the proposed requirements could have prevented as many as 80 fatal injuries per year if they had been fully implemented in the period from 1977 to 1979. An even greater number of serious injuries would have been prevented.”

Read the other 80 points here: old-underride-petition

How do you interpret those statements? What does it look like to you? Am I the only one who is appalled at their apparent “washing of their hands” of responsibility for the lives lost due to their negligence in mandating the best possible underride protection?

Even if I were willing to overlook their actions in the past, I am not willing to settle for a future rule to continue this kind of travesty. In conjunction with voluntary improvement in underride protection which we are beginning to see, I want to see effective underride protection installed all around trucks because I know it is possible.

I am convinced that this kind of protection will be near to impossible to attain until this country understands and demands Vision Zero Rulemaking as an essential component of its Road to Zero Coalition strategy.

do-it-president-obamaCar Safety Wars

CBA Victim Cost Benefit Analysis Victim

What will President Trump and the next Secretary of Transportation do about this?

Reflections from a bereaved dad on the Underride Roundtable & what that means for rulemaking

Jerry Karth submitted some additional comments on the proposed underride rule–with reflections on what was learned through the Underride Roundtable. These comments have now been posted on the Federal Register: Additional Comments on Underride Rulemaking by Jerry Karth, May 19, 2016

He included the following important points:

After participating in the Underride Roundtable, I would like to offer these additional comments (also attached as pdf with clickable links):

1. When the Karth family petitioned Secretary Foxx on May 5, 2014, we requested an upgrade in rear underride guards. At the time, we requested that the U.S. guards meet or exceed the Canadian standard. Since that time, having done extensive online research, we have come in contact with researchers who have shown that much more is possible given existing or proposed underride research.

2. One of the questions raised at the Underride Roundtable was whether underride protection could be produced to prevent underride at higher speeds. In the Preliminary Regulatory Evaluation of the NPRM, NHTSA requested information about underride guard crash tests at higher speeds (than the 35 mph currently being proposed). In fact, underride research has been conducted for decades which has demonstrated that it is possible to prevent underride crashes at higher speeds. It is research which has been available and known to regulators and the industry. For example, the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) in Australia tested energy-absorbing guards to 75 km/h or 47 mph in the early 1990s. http://www.monash.edu/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/216924/muarc026.pdf

3. The image of a MUARC energy-absorbing underride guard can be seen in the attachment.

4. The U.S. final underride rule should, at minimum, copy the new Australian/New Zealand proposed rule published in April 2016 as the next underride guard rule rather than the present Canadian rule which is 11 years old. The Australian rule mentions test speeds under the heading Test Requirements on p. 60, Clause G7.3: “Current vehicle crashworthiness technology indicates that occupants will not suffer serous injury in an equivalent frontal impact speed of up to around 64 km/h into a deformable barrier if the car is a modern five star Australian New Car Assessment (ANCAP) vehicle. . . The development of effective energy absorbing TUBs [Truck Underrun Barrier] would both reduce the serious injury to vehicle occupants and increase the effect frontal impact speed DeltaV above the 70 km/h test speed compared with a rigid TUB.”

5. It is technically feasible to develop an improved underride guard in less than a year, as the VA Tech Students demonstrated.

6. The consumers of the trailers have requested and received, from 4 of the trailer manufacturers (Wabash, Manac, Vanguard, Stoughton) improved underride guards.
7. Four of the major trailer manufacturers were more than willing to step up and provide a better underride guard (successfully tested at 35 mph for a 30% offset crash).

8. It is cost-effective to design and build a better underride guard.

9. The Cost/Benefit Analysis (CBA ) used in this rulemaking is faulty as clearly demonstrated by some of the manufacturers’ willingness to step up and provide a better underride guardeven without regulation. (Truck Safety Marketplace)

10. It is possible to bring all of the parties involved into the process, to have meaningful conversation, and to make progress.

These attachments were included:

Jerry submitted his original public comment regarding the proposed underride rulemaking on February 16, 2016. A Bereaved Dad Takes a Close Look at the Flaws in Underride Regulatory Cost/Benefit Analysis

Underride Roundtable Timeline74 gertie 2314PetitionHeader_option2Underride Roundtable May 5, 2016 141

Imagine an Executive Order propelling us toward zero crash deaths. What are we waiting for?

When I read Lou Lombardo’s Care for Crash Victims email this morning, it reminded me of what I keep thinking about the proposed underride rule. . . the regulatory analysis needs to include the cost of the lives lost (and injuries sustained) in the past — all the years of too-weak or non-existent guards even when they knew that better could be made — and all the lives which could be saved into the future.
What conclusions would the analysts then draw? Would they deem spilled blood too great a price to pay?

Dear Care For Crash Victims Community Members:

As we think about Benefits and Costs we need to think about Who gets the Benefits and Who gets the Costs.  People’s lives vs. Corporate monies.

 

Think about the power of Presidents and their responsibilities as OMB is a key arm of government in the White House.
 

See OMB Draft Report at

Imagine an Executive Order directing the Justice Department to require all settlement agreements to include payments to the government commensurate with the costs in lives lost in the past and projected into the future – and the benefits of sentencing executives to the elimination of vehicle violence forevermore – Vision Zero. 
 
Lou
Thanks, Lou, for your always-thoughtful questions and comments.
Adopt a Vision Zero Policy 047

A Bereaved Dad Takes a Close Look at the Flaws in Underride Regulatory Cost/Benefit Analysis

Jerry Karth submitted some additional comments on the proposed underride rule–with reflections on what was learned through the Underride Roundtable. These comments have now been posted on the Federal Register: Additional Comments on Underride Rulemaking by Jerry Karth, May 19, 2016

Jerry submitted his original public comment regarding the proposed underride rulemaking on February 16, 2016. Here is an excerpt from that which addresses NHTSA’s preliminary cost/benefit analysis:

I would like to respond to the utilitarian logic approach that NHTSA has appeared to have applied to this issue. Their utilization of a cost/benefit analysis (called for by Executive Order 12866) is sadly lacking moral and ethical depth on the benefits side.

This type of logic was applied in 2000 by the Philip Morris Company in the Czech Republic when they funded a research study on the costs/benefits of smoking in the Czech Republic. http://www.mindfully.org/Industry/Philip-Morris-Czech-Study.htm The study concluded that it would be more beneficial for the people of the Czech Republic to smoke than not. What was this startling conclusion based on? A cost/benefit analysis.

The results are summarized in Figure 1:

Figure 1: The public finance balance of smoking in the Czech Republic in 1999 is estimated at +5,815 mil. CZK

Income and positive external effects 21,463 mil CZK
  Savings on housing for elderly 28,mil CZK
  Pension & soc. expenses savings due to early mortality 196 mil CZK
  Health care costs savings due to early mortality 968 mil CZK
  Customs duty 354 mil CZK
  Corporate income tax 747 mil CZK
  VAT 3,521 mil CZK
  Excise tax 15,648 mil CZK
Smoking related public finance costs 15,647 mil CZK
  Fire induced costs 49 mil CZK
  Lost income tax due to higher mortality 1,367 mil CZK
  Days out of work related public finance costs 1,667 mil CZK
  ETS related health care costs 1,142 mil CZK
  Smoking (first hand) related health care costs 11,422 mil CZK
NET BALANCE +5,815 mil. CZK

The study concluded that $1,227 was saved in pensions, health care, and housing every time a smoker dies. [Photo and caption from http://www.mindfully.org/Industry/Philip-Morris-Czech-Study.htm ]

$1,227 ?

That’s how much a study sponsored by Philip Morris said the Czech Republic saves on health care, pensions and housing every time a smoker dies.

photo: American Cancer Society full-page SF Chronicle advertisement 2aug01


In comparison, let’s look at how this approach could be applied to the underride issue. This type of cost/benefit analysis could lead us to conclude that it is not beneficial to require stronger underride guards because the benefits of keeping weak and ineffective standards for underride guards are greater than the cost of upgrading them to the best possible protection. What might those benefits be?

  1. Save the trucking industry money by holding down manufacturing and installation costs.
  2. Save the consumer money by holding down shipping costs.
  3. Reduce medical costs by killing people at a younger age (and avoiding costly medical costs of the elderly population).
  4. Preserve the Social Security fund by decreasing the number of people who draw from their account due to early Death by Motor Vehicle.
  5. Improve the job market due to the decrease in the workforce from the elimination of workers through Death by Motor Vehicle.

In both cases, the conclusions lack common sense. I hope that we can agree upon that.

In other words, this kind of analysis could potentially require that we decide whether we are willing to fork over money to protect people from Death by Motor Vehicle. It forces us to choose between saving a life or saving costs. When that life is one of your loved ones, what would you choose?

In contrast, a cost-effectiveness approach may be a better solution because it compares the relative costs and outcomes (effects) of two or more courses of action. “Cost-effectiveness analysis is distinct from cost-benefit analysis, which assigns a monetary value to the measure of effect.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cost-effectiveness_analysis In this situation, the desired outcome of both courses of action would be an underride guard which did not fail upon collision with a vehicle. The two solutions could be compared based upon cost, but a performance standard of a successful crash test would guarantee that lives would be saved.

Cost.Benefit Analysis

Underride Roundtable Phase 2: Crafting Recommendations to Present to NHTSA For Final Rule

Excerpt from a previous post: Avoid an impasse: Follow-up Underride Roundtable with Negotiated Rulemaking Meeting

It is my hope that we can pursue a recommendation, made by a participant of the Underride Roundtable during the afternoon panel discussion, and organize a group of affected individuals and organizations/companies to meet together and develop a proposal to take to NHTSA in order to bring about a comprehensive negotiated rulemaking.

Yesterday, I sent out an email to participants of the Underride Roundtable–asking them to attend Phase 2 of the Underride Roundtable. I am getting some positive response and also some request for clarification of my goal for this meeting. So, the remainder of this post will serve to clarify what I am proposing.

Basically, the point is that NHTSA–now that the formal Public Comment period has ended for the Rear Underride NPRM–is in the process of reviewing those comments and crafting a final underride rule. Once that “final” rule is published, we will need to determine if it would be an adequate rule.

My thought is that now is the time to be hammering out an agreement–amongst ourselves (trucking industry, manufacturers, consumers, safety advocates, engineers, underride victims)–about what is an acceptable underride rule rather than wait until after NHTSA has already prepared a final rule. This agreement would include all aspects of underride protection.

We want to see it taken care of now and not wait for years to get any additional significant improvement/saved lives. Then, too, from the trucking industry perspective, such a strategy could avoid a situation of continuous changes down the road when solutions are known to be possible now.

Actually, this is what I had hoped would come out of the original Roundtable–a specific recommendation to NHTSA. Since that did not occur, my suggestion is that we go ahead now and hold a second meeting which would allow us to prepare a proposal to present to NHTSA as a petition for a new, comprehensive underride rule.

I am prepared to work to get this organized and underway as soon as possible. I have already had quite a few people get back to me to let me know that they would like to participate in this meeting, which would not strictly speaking be Negotiated Rulemaking but a Facilitated Crafting of Best Practice Recommendations for Underride Protection.

I’m sure that some will react with skepticism that this could ever work. But I am willing to put the effort into pursuing an impossible dream with hopes of realizing an actually-attainable outcome–making underride crashes be a thing of the past.

And if you wonder what makes me think that I (our family) has the authority to bring this about. . . the other day, I was reviewing the OMB Circular A-4. a document from the White House Office of Management & Budget to the heads of Executive Agencies with guidelines for the analysis of proposed regulatory actions.

Basically, a federal regulation should be issued when there has been a failure of the private market to protect the public (decades of underride fatalities and serious injuries). There should be an assessment of the significance of the problem (hundreds of deaths/year–decade after decade), and it should be shown that a government intervention is likely to do more good than harm (industry has complied with previous rules & research has shown that stronger underride protection/rules is/are possible to save more lives ):

Before recommending Federal regulatory action, an agency must demonstrate that the proposed action is necessary. . . Executive Order 12866 states that “Federal agencies should promulgate only such regulations as are required by law, are necessary to interpret the law, or are made necessary by compelling need, such as material failures of private markets to protect or improve the health and safety of the public, the environment, or the well being of the American people. . .”

Executive Order 12866 also states that “Each agency shall identify the problem that it intends to address (including, where applicable, the failures of private markets or public institutions that warrant new agency action) as well as assess the significance of that problem.”. . . If the regulation is designed to correct a significant market failure, you should describe the failure both qualitatively and (where feasible) quantitatively. You should show that a government intervention is likely to do more good than harm. For other interventions, you should also provide a demonstration of compelling social purpose and the likelihood of effective action. OMB Circular a-4.pdf

Well, then, because the private market has failed to protect us from deadly underride and, furthermore, the government has failed to adequately regulate this safety defect, then it behooves me, as a citizen of this country, to initiate action to rectify this tragic oversight.

Note: If anyone would like to host this meeting at their facility, please let me know as soon as possible so we can get this underway.

Notes on the Rulemaking Process:

  1.  Links on The Rulemaking Process:  https://www.federalregister.gov/uploads/2011/01/the_rulemaking_process.pdf, excerpts below. . .
  2. How do public comments affect the final rule? The 
notice and comment 
process 
enables 
anyone 
to 
submit 
a 
comment 
on 
any 
part 
of 
the
 proposed
 rule.
 This 
process
 is 
not 
like
 a 
ballot 
initiative 
or 
an 
up or down
 vote
in 
a 
legislature.

 An
 agency
 is 
not 
permitted
 to 
base 
its 
final 
rule 
on 
the
 number 
of
comments in 
support 
of 
the rule 
over 
those 
in 
opposition 
to 
it. 
At 
the 
end
 of
 the 
process, 
the 
agency 
must 
base 
its
 reasoning 
and
 conclusions 
on 
the 
rulemaking 
record, 
consisting 
of 
the 
comments, 
scientific
 data, 
expert 
opinions,
 and
 facts
accumulated 
during 
the
 pre‐rule 
and
 proposed 
rule
 stages.

 To 
move 
forward
 with 
a 
final 
rule, 
the
 agency
 must 
conclude 
that 
its 
proposed
 solution 
will 
help
 accomplish 
the 
goals 
or 
solve 
the 
problems
 identified. 

It 
must 
also 
consider 
whether 
alternate
 solutions 
would
 be 
more 
effective 
or 
cost 
less.

 If 
the 
rulemaking
 record
 contains persuasive 
new
 data 
or 
policy 
arguments,
 or 
poses 
difficult
 questions
 or 
criticisms, 
the 
agency 
may 
decide 
to 
terminate 
the 
rulemaking. 

Or, 
the 
agency
 may
 decide 
to 
continue
 the 
rulemaking
 but 
change 
aspects 
of 
the
 rule to 
reflect
 these 
new
 issues. 

If 
the 
changes 
are 
major, 
the 
agency 
may
 publish 
a 
supplemental 
proposed
 rule. 

If 
the
 changes 
are
 minor, 
or 
a 
logical 
outgrowth
 of 
the 
issues 
and
 solutions
 discussed 
in
 the
 proposed
 rules, 
the
 agency
 may
 proceed
 with 
a
 final 
rule.
  3. What is the role of the President in developing a final rule? In 
the 
same 
way 
that 
the
President 
and 
the 
Office 
of 
Information 
& 
Regulatory
 Affairs 
(OIRA) review 
draft
proposed 
rules 
prior 
to 
publication, 
the 
President 
and 
OIRA 
analyze 
draft 
final
 rules
when 
they
 are
 “significant” 
due 
to 
economic 
effects 
or 
because 
they 
raise 
important
 policy 
issues.

 The 
Presidential 
level 
review 
takes 
place 
before 
the 
final 
rule 
is
published 
in 
the
 Federal 
Register. 

OIRA’s 
final 
analysis
 of
 estimated 
costs 
and
benefits 
may take 
into
 consideration any 
comments 
and
 alternate 
solutions
suggested 
in 
public 
comments. Agencies 
may 
also
 use 
this 
review 
and 
analysis 
phase 
to 
consult 
with
 other 
agencies who 
share
 responsibility 
for 
issues 
covered 
by
the 
rule. 

In
 some 
cases,
 interagency 
review 
is 
mandatory.

Negotiated Rulemaking

Other Research Which Should Not Be Ignored in Current Underride Rulemaking

NHTSA, in the Preliminary Regulatory Evaluation of the NPRM issued in December 2015 for Rear Underride on Trailers, requested information about underride guard crash tests at higher speeds (than the 35 mph currently being proposed). This is what they said,

We recognize, however, that benefits may accrue from underride crashes at speeds higher than 56 km/h (35 mph), if, e.g., a vehicle’s guard exceeded the minimum performance requirements of the FMVSS. NHTSA requests information that would assist the agency in quantifying the possible benefits of CMVSS No. 223 rear impact guards in crashes with speeds higher than 56 km/h (35 mph)See: NPRM Rear Impact Guards, Rear Impact Protection December 2015 document; A Summary of Some of the Highlights

Here are some additional links to underride research around the world which should be taken into consideration when developing improved underride designs and standards.

  1. Evaluation of Energy Absorbing Pliers Underride Guards for Rear and Sides of Large Trucks
  2. DEVELOPMENT OF NEW UNDERRIDE GUARDS FOR ENHANCEMENT OF COMPATIBILITY BETWEEN TRUCKS AND CARS
  3. NHTSA NCAP #00248 Truck Underride Guard (Quinton Hazell Guard)

These links supplement the more lengthy list of underride research, which I posted previously here: Underride Roundtable To Consider Underride Research From Around the Globe.

Side note to Cost/Benefit Analysis Question: The fallacy behind the Australian fed. gov’t’s CBA.

Here’s a little side note on the cost/benefit analysis (CBA) debate from around the globe in Australia:

The fallacy behind the Australian Federal Government’s CBA is that the cost to the tax payer is minimal to introduce a new mandatory standard requiring crashworthy underrun barriers.

The cost is in effect born by the truck manufacturers which the industry accepts.

That’s the irony of the situation.

At most it might add a fraction of a cent to the cost of your Corn Flakes which I am sure if presented to consumers, they would gladly pay if it saved lives.

The disgusting truth to the Australian Federal Regulator’s CBA is that a ‘virtual’ cost has been added by them, i.e. cost to the industry.

That is being touted by the Federal Government as being more important than the well-being or life of a human being.

Raphael Grzebieta, Professor, Road Safety

Underride Roundtable May 5, 2016 169

A grieving dad got the attention of the trucking industry & made a difference.

Rather than wait for a stronger underride rule to be proposed, Jerry Karth, in early 2014, determined to challenge the truck industry to voluntarily step up and strengthen underride protection on trucks.

He wrote letters, first of all, to the major trailer manufacturers — some of whom had been tested earlier by IIHS. He told them about our crash story — how AnnaLeah (17) and Mary (13) through no fault of their own were killed by truck underride which might have been prevented if the truck they collided with had had better underride guards.

Then, soon after those letters were out the door, Jerry had several more lists of trucking companies, who either purchased or leased trailers. He proceeded to write letters to those companies — again telling them our crash story and making sure that they understood the inadequacy of guards designed to satisfy the current U.S. underride standard, or even the Canadian one for that matter.

Jerry asked them to look into the matter — even providing them with copies of the IIHS Status Reports which had articles on the underride issue. He asked them to make sure that they were getting their trailers from manufacturers which provided the best protection possible. He received letters, emails, and phone calls indicating that the companies were appreciative of the information provided to them.

Then, several months ago, Jerry got a call from Greer Woodruff, VP of Safety, Security, & Driver Personnel at J.B. Hunt a transport company. Greer was calling to tell Jerry that JB Hunt had purchased 4,000 new trailers in January 2016 from Wabash who had recently manufactured safer underride guards–having passed the IIHS 30% overlap crash test.

Underride Roundtable TimelineUnderride Roundtable May 5, 2016 141Underride Roundtable May 5, 2016 169Underride Roundtable May 5, 2016 007

See my posts with exciting developments on this front:

And later, during the afternoon panel discussion at the Underride Roundtable at IIHS on May 5, Jerry asked Mark Roush from Vanguard (a trailer manufacturer) what had motivated them to produce their recently-strengthened underride guards. This was what he found out:

“We had no idea if there would be a safety marketplace for large trucks when we began our crash tests,” Matthew Brumbelow, an IIHS senior research engineer who has extensively studied truck underride crashes, shared with the audience. “We at the Institute have been really encouraged by the response from trailer manufacturers.”

Mark Roush, vice president of engineering with Vanguard, participated in the afternoon panel discussion. Vanguard is one of the trailer manufacturers that voluntarily improved their underride guards. Roush credited IIHS research and the Karth family’s advocacy for raising awareness of the underride problem and ways to address it.

“As far as we knew we were producing trailers to what we thought was the highest regulatory standard, and then the IIHS test came in and made us aware of what was happening,” Roush said. “Three of our largest customers forwarded letters from you [Karth] asking us to do more.” The Karths personally wrote the largest trailer makers seeking their help in building better rear guards.

David Zuby, IIHS executive vice president and chief research officer, wrapped up the day with a call for continued cooperation and research.

“The one thing I hope everyone takes away from this is that there has been a lot of progress in recent years on underride crashes, and there will be more ahead. We heard from Virginia Tech students who are about to graduate and are already thinking about how to make underride guards better. And you heard from Matt Brumbelow about how guards are being designed to prevent types of underride crashes that weren’t addressed before. We are optimistic that we can solve this problem working together.” See more at: IIHS: Truck underride roundtable addresses problem of deadly crashes

It needs to be said, as I have stated before, that the positive progress made by the trailer manufacturers voluntarily — though it should be appreciated — should, nevertheless, not be allowed to stand as the end of the line. Unless they pass crash tests at higher speeds, the manufacturers need to get back to the drawing board and find ways to make their trucks safer all around (including on the sides and at the front) and at higher speeds.

And, unless trucks currently on the road are retrofitted and Single Unit Trucks become included in underride standards, way too many people will continue to die on our roads from preventable underride.

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I think that it would make Mary & AnnaLeah smile to think that their lives were the impetus for saving others from an untimely end and untold heartache.

Never forgotten

To read additional posts which I wrote as a follow-up to the Underride Roundtable, go here:  Underride Roundtable Follow-up Posts