Tag Archives: #stopunderrides

In Memory of Reza Zati

At around 11:50 p.m., officers responded to the scene of a two-vehicle collision on the inner loop of I-495 at Seminary Road before Georgia Avenue, Maryland State Police said in a statement. They found a 2004 Honda Civic, which had been traveling at high speed, slammed into the rear of a tractor trailer and lodged beneath.

The Honda’s driver, identified as Reza Zati of Jessup, Md., was pronounced dead at the scene. Driver killed in Beltway crash

See more underride tragedies at Underride Crash Memorials and on our Interactive Underride Crash Map. To add more information on this story or to add other underride crashes to this map, send an email to underridemap@gmail.com; use this Interactive Underride Crash Map Crash Location Input Form.

The guard didn’t break off AS the car went under the truck; the car went under BECAUSE the guard broke off!

I have read many news reports of truck crashes. It often strikes me how little the media, along with everyone else, understands the underride problem. Last night I read an article about a truck crash which happened in November in Dallas; it was a good example of this common misunderstanding of what an underride is.

A car was traveling northbound along Harry Hines Boulevard when it started coming up on a UPS truck at the Lombardy Lane stoplight. The 18-wheeler’s 53-foot trailer was empty at the time. However, the car’s driver did not stop and slammed into the back of the big rig. The UPS truck’s rear bumper broke as the car went underneath the trailer.   http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2017/11/13/car-slams-into-big-rig-dallas/

What the reporter apparently misunderstood was that the rear bumper did not break off as the car went underneath the trailer. No, the car went underneath the trailer because the bumper broke off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was too weak — just like on the majority of the millions of trucks on the road today. Underride tragedies waiting to happen.

At first I was frustrated with the way underride gets reported (or rather does not get reported). But then I realized that this is a perfect example of the common misperception that something about the severity of the crash forces/dynamics itself is what leads to the car knocking off or bending the rear underride guard. In fact, it is the weak guard which gives way, fails, and bends or comes right off the trailer and then there is nothing to stop the car from going into the empty space under the truck.

Or, as Jerry Karth says, to put it another way, “the guard failed to perform as it was designed to do.” (As this IIHS video so thoroughly explains.)

In contrast, see what happens when there is an effective underride protective device to cause the car to bounce off the guard (deflects the crash forces) and allows the car’s crush zone, airbags, and seat belts to work like they were supposed to upon collision.

Improved Rear Underride Guard Crash Test:

Side Guard Crash Test:

The car is damaged, but the passengers are safe:

I hope this helps people to better understand the dynamics of an underride crash.

How much more data do we need to convince us to take action that will STOP Underride tragedies?

This is old news. But I just saw it. It is news that will haunt the families involved forever. And it could have been prevented.

 A car was traveling northbound along Harry Hines Boulevard when it started coming up on a UPS truck at the Lombardy Lane stoplight. The 18-wheeler’s 53-foot trailer was empty at the time. However, the car’s driver did not stop and slammed into the back of the big rig. The UPS truck’s rear bumper broke as the car went underneath the trailer.

The reporter didn’t understand. The rear bumper did not break off AS the car went under. The car went under because the bumper broke off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was too weak — just like on the majority of the millions of trucks on the road today. Underride tragedies waiting to happen.


Why do we let this continue to happen year after year? Do we value life so little? How much more data do we need to convince us that we need to take immediate action?

1969 Chicago Cubs Baseball a Thing of the Past; Same Year DOT Planned to Require Side Guards on Trucks

I recently moved into a new house. This morning I passed a box that has yet to be unpacked.  In some past move, I had labeled it “1969 Chicago Cubs Mug” (owned by my diehard Cubs fan husband Jerry).

That caught my attention because, in the last few years, the year 1969 (a fateful Cubs season, now a Thing of the Past) sticks out in my mind as the year that DOT said that they intended to “extend underride protection to the sides” of large trucks.

Well, that would have been wonderful if they had actually done so. But they did not.

Hundreds of people every year could have survived truck crashes. If we estimate 200 people each year, who could still be alive had side guards been required on every truck, times the 49 years since that fateful 1969 baseball season, that would be 9,800 people — almost 10,000 deaths that could have been prevented.

Add to that another 800/year from front and rear underride deaths = 39,200. Almost 50,000 deaths could have been prevented with comprehensive underride protection.

Let’s all work together to make sure that, in the next 49 years, it will be a different story and Death By Underride will become a Thing of the Past.

Previous related post: March Historically a Momentous Month for Truck Underride Safety Advocacy; Beware the Ides of March!

Interactive Underride Crash Map Launched This Week

We launched an Interactive Underride Crash Story Map earlier this week. We have only just begun to add links for the thousands of underride tragedies which are too well remembered in the decades of neglect of this problem.  Many families may not even have realized that they lost their loved one because of preventable underride.

See more underride tragedies at Underride Crash Memorials and on our Interactive Underride Crash Map. To add more information on this story or to add other underride crashes to this map, send an email to underridemap@gmail.com; use this Interactive Underride Crash Map Crash Location Input Form.

Here is the map.

See more underride tragedies at Underride Crash Memorials and on our Interactive Underride Crash Map. To add more information on this story or to add other underride crashes to this map, send an email to underridemap@gmail.com; use this Interactive Underride Crash Map Crash Location Input Form.

Roya Christine Sadigh, you will always be missed. June 19, 1978 – November 24, 2004

Roya Christine Sadigh, beloved daughter of Lois Durso, I never knew you but I know that you will always be missed.
June 19, 1978 – November 24, 2004
 “Not having her here is unbearable.”

Yet one more family will dread the holidays because Death By Underride has been left unchecked.

I just learned about an underride crash in Nevada on Sunday. The photo in the news report tells the sad and senseless story.

The semi driver began braking and made an improper left turn into the dirt center median with signage marked “No U-Turn” and “Authorized Vehicles Only.” The driver of the Kia then struck the trailer of the semi causing the Kia to be partially pinned under the trailer.

A 3-year-old girl who was injured in Sunday’s crash on northbound Interstate 15 near Moapa has died.

The girl was airlifted to Sunrise Pediatrics with critical injuries and succumbed to the injuries sustained in the crash.

An 11-year-old boy who also was injured was taken by ambulance to UMC Trauma with serious but nonlife-threatening injuries. 3-year-old girl dies from injuries in crash on I-15 near Moapa

Also reported here: 3-year-old Utahn girl dies in crash involving semi on I-15

Yet one more family will dread the holidays because Death By Underride has been left unchecked. When will we act to end these senseless tragedies?

I am a truck crash survivor & mom (of two who died) on a mission to make truck crashes more survivable!

I am the survivor of a terrible truck crash. I am the mom of two daughters who did not survive. The difference? Their part of the car went under the truck; mine did not.

In the aftermath, I found out that the rear underride guard could have been made stronger to withstand the crash so that AnnaLeah and Mary might — like me — have been survivors of a terrible truck crash. I learned that, if effective underride protection was installed on trucks, we could save hundreds of people who die every year when a truck enters their occupant space. So now, I am a mom on a mission to make truck crashes more survivable.

View some of the thousands of tragic Underride Stories at the Interactive Underride Crash Map

How did it come about? In October 2012, Jerry and I moved to North Carolina with the three youngest of our nine children. Four of the nine were going to college in Texas. When they all came home for Christmas break, we got the news that our oldest daughter, Rebekah, had just gotten engaged. We planned a big trip to Texas in May for the celebration of a wedding, four college graduations, and two family birthdays (AnnaLeah turning 18 & Vanessa turning 4).

Mary baked a seven-layer engagement cake to surprise Rebekah when she arrived for the holiday. Rebekah asked me to sew her wedding dress and we shopped for a pattern and material. In the ensuing months, Mary (13) served as a model for her sister’s wedding dress, and AnnaLeah sewed a little bride’s dress for a surprise birthday present for Vanessa.

On May 4, 2013, we packed our Crown Vic and headed for Texas. But the trip did not go as planned and it turned out to be AnnaLeah’s and Mary’s last journey they would make on this earth. We came upon slowed traffic on I-20 in Georgia (from a fatal crash two miles ahead, two hours earlier). We slowed down, but a truck driver did not — hitting our car and sending it into a spin so that the car went backward into the tractor-trailer ahead of us. The rear underride guard failed to withstand the crash and the back of the car went under the trailer.

AnnaLeah and Mary were in the backseat. AnnaLeah died at the scene and Mary a few days later from her very serious injuries.

In the four years following that day, we have been working hard to turn tragedy into advocacy — including the drafting of the STOP Underrides! Bill soon to be introduced in the U.S. Congress to mandate the installation of technology to end these preventable tragedies.

In memory of Roya, AnnaLeah, and Mary (and countless others!), let’s pass comprehensive underride protection legislation in order to STOP every kind of Underride tragedy!

More memories of Roya, AnnaLeah, & Mary — our precious ones, gone too soon: The Naming of an Underride Bill; Out of the Mouths of Babes

Stay tuned to HOW YOU CAN HELP get this bill passed once it is introduced in the near future (within three weeks).

Sign & Share the STOP Underrides! Bill Petition here: Congress, Act Now To End Deadly Truck Underride!.

How many votes will be needed for the STOP Underrides! Bill to pass?

My daughter, Rebekah Karth Chojnacki, is an Instructor for a First-Year Experience class at the University of Texas at Arlington. Her students were required to do a community service project as part of the class. They chose to work on our underride prevention advocacy efforts.

First they gave us some feedback on our various social media sites. Then they divided up into three groups and did some research to determine just how many votes we would need to get in order to pass the STOP Underrides! Bill — especially those hard-to-get Republican votes.

Here are the results:

Making progress toward better underride protection is a team effort involving many, many people; and I am thankful for the students’ practical assistance.  I hadn’t looked at the numbers previously and, when Rebekah shared the results of their class project, I thought, “Maybe this won’t be so hard to win after all!”

But wait. . .  Republicans chair the Senate Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee and the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. Once the bill is introduced, we will definitely need these committees to take a lead and team up with us to end these preventable deaths  — because they play a key role in getting the bill to the floor for a vote.

Surely they don’t want people to die, do they?

 

People get killed in collisions with single unit trucks (EXEMPT from underride stds.).

People (real living people, who left home not expecting to die) get killed from crashing into single unit trucks as well as tractor-trailers. Like these two young men in New York this week: 2 Killed In Crash Involving Garbage Truck, Car In Westchester County
 So why are these trucks exempt from underride regulations?
STOP all Underrides! #stopunderrides