IIHS Ratings and Rankings for Safest 2017 Vehicles

IIHS Ratings and Rankings for Safest 2017 Vehicles

December, 2016

Then thank Ralph Nader for having fought to have insurers crash test vehicles.
Lou Lombardo


Fwd: Letter to U.S. DOT Sec. Foxx on “Tired Trucker” provision in govt spending bill

Fwd: Letter to U.S. DOT Sec. Foxx on “Tired Trucker” provision in govt spending bill

December, 2016

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Crash victims and consumer groups ask for help of “Lame Duck” DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx.

It may be too late, but it is nice to see the organization of grieving families raising their voices for safety to protect all of us from future harm.

Let’s help them.

Lou Lombardo

———- Forwarded message ———- From: Cathy Chase <cchase@saferoads.org> Date: Fri, Dec 2, 2016 at 1:59 PM Subject: Letter to U.S. DOT Sec. Foxx on “Tired Trucker” provision in govt spending bill To: Cathy Chase <cchase@saferoads.org>

The following (and attached) letter was sent to Secretary Foxx today expressing urgent concern about the “tired trucker” anomaly, which would remove two safety safeguards in the Obama Administration hours of service (HOS) rule, being attached to the government spending bill next week.

Thank you, Cathy




December 2, 2016


The Honorable Anthony Foxx

Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation

1200 New Jersey Ave., SE

Washington, D.C.  20590


Dear Secretary Foxx:


As representatives of the nation’s leading consumer, public health, law enforcement and safety organizations, as well as grieving families whose loved ones were needlessly killed in truck crashes, we are writing to urge you to protect the Obama Administration truck driver hours of service (HOS) rule.  Two critically important safety provisions in the Obama rule are under attack in Congress, and without your leadership and strong opposition, they will be attached to and enacted as part of the government funding bill. 


Just recently the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) launched the “Road to Zero” campaign with the goal of ending fatalities on the nation’s roads within the next thirty years.  Your statement on the urgent need for every stakeholder including government to commit to “setting the bar for safety to the highest possible standard” resonated deeply with us.  Now is the time for the Obama Administration to draw a line in the sand and oppose any provisions in the lame duck session that lower the safety bar by repealing and revising truck safety laws and regulations.   


Your commitment to bringing down highway deaths and injuries comes at a critical time.  As you are aware, truck crash deaths and injuries are increasing dramatically.  In 2015, 4,067 people died in crashes involving large trucks, the highest number in seven years and a 20 percent increase from 2009.  Additionally, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently released preliminary figures revealing that 116,000 people were injured in large truck crashes. This represents a 57 percent increase since 2009.  Moreover, the economic cost of truck crashes topped $100 billion in 2013, according to the.  No other industry involved in the movement of freight has such an abysmal safety record.  In 2014, according to data from the U.S. DOT, the combined death toll attributed to commercial aviation, rail freight, pipelines and commercial vessels was less than 600 fatalities.


A major cause of truck crashes is driver fatigue.  According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), fatigue can be as deadly as alcohol and drug impairment.  Just a few weeks ago the NTSB included reducing fatigue on their 2017-2018 Most Wanted List of transportation safety improvements.  Working and driving hours for truck drivers are already grueling and often more than double the average American work week of 40 hours.  Even in light of this alarming evidence, provisions in the pending Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) bills (H.R. 2577/H.R. 5394) attack and weaken critical protections against fatigued truck driving.  


The Senate and House THUD bills contain separate provisions (Sections 131 and132 respectively) that will gut key safety features of the Obama Administration’s hours of service (HOS) rule.  Specifically, the THUD bill seeks to undo a change to the HOS rule adopted by the DOT in 2011.  Prior to making this change, a truck driver who has exhausted his/her maximum driving and working hours in 7 days, had to take just 34 hours off to allow for rest and recovery before beginning to drive again.  Because the so-called “34-hour restart” was significantly less than a full weekend, the 2011 HOS rule issued by the Obama Administration, included a requirement that the 34-hour off duty period cover two consecutive “nights off,” between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.  This modification was made in order to ensure two nights of quality rest that is compatible with human biorhythms.  Also, the 2011 HOS rule limited drivers to using the 34-hour restart to just once per week. Removing these important safety protections on behalf of trucking interests is dangerous and deadly to the safety of all motorists including truck drivers.


The HOS rule was changed by the DOT after extensive review and thorough consideration of 21,000 formal docket comments submitted by the public, truck drivers, motor carriers, law enforcement, safety advocates, medical experts, and trucking industry associations; 6 public listening sessions; review and consideration of 80 sources of scientific research and data; a Regulatory Impact Analysis of nearly 50 scientific sources; 10 years of rulemaking; and, 3 lawsuits. 

Further, Section 134 of the House THUD bill would preempt state laws affording needed meal and rest breaks beyond the federally required 30-minute rest break, for truck drivers operating within their states.  This provision is a threat to the health, safety and protection of workers.  It is aimed at eliminating some of the critical job and labor protections which insure a safe transportation system.


When sound science stands in the way of business profits, special trucking interests run to Congress to advance their economic agenda and bypass public scrutiny and government review.  These efforts are especially egregious and unconscionable given the current mortality and morbidity toll on our roadways.  If these provisions were stand-alone bills, subject to oversight by the Congressional Committees of jurisdiction, they would never move forward.  


The American public depends on your leadership and commitment to safety to stop these provisions from becoming law.  The “Road to Zero” starts here. 




Jackie Gillan, President

Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety 


Dominick Stokes, Vice President for Legislative Affairs

Federal Law Enforcement Office Association


Steve Owings, Co-Founder

Road Safe America


Andrew McGuire, Executive Director

Trauma Foundation


John Lannen, Executive Director

Truck Safety Coalition


Sally Greenberg, Executive Director

National Consumers League


Gary Smith, President

Child Injury Prevention Alliance


Laura MacCleery, Vice President

Consumer Policy and Mobilization Consumers Union


Wanda Lindsay, Founder

The John Lindsay Foundation

Joan Claybrook, Chair

Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH)


Jack Gillis, Director of Public Affairs

Consumer Federation of America


Stephen W. Hargarten, M.D., MPH

Society for the Advancement of Violence and Injury Research


Ian Weston, MPP, QAS, Executive Director

American Trauma Society


Rosemary Shahan, President

Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety 


Melissa Wandall, President

National Coalition for Safer Roads


Janette Fennell, Founder and President



Daphne Izer, Co-Founder

Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT)


Dawn King

Davisburg, MI

President, Truck Safety Coalition

Board Member, CRASH

Daughter of Bill Badger

Killed in truck crash 12/23/04


Jennifer Tierney

Kernersville, NC

Board Member, CRASH

Daughter of James Mooney

Killed in a truck crash 9/20/83


Steve Izer

Lisbon, ME                

Board Member, PATT                                                

Father of Jeff Izer

Killed in a truck crash 10/10/93


Lisa Shrum

Fayette, MO

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Daughter of Virginia Baker, Step-daughter of Randy Baker

Killed in a truck crash 10/10/06


Nancy Meuleners

Bloomington, MN

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Injured in a truck crash 12/19/89


Ed Slattery 

Lutherville, MD 

Board Member, PATT            

Husband of Susan Slattery

Killed in a truck crash 8/16/10                        

Sons Matthew & Peter Slattery critically injured


Kate Brown 

Gurnee, IL

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Mother of Graham Brown

Injured in a truck crash 5/2/05


Jerry Karth

Rocky Mount, NC

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Founder, AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety

Father of AnnaLeah and Mary Karth

Killed in a truck crash 5/4/13




Frank Wood 

Falls Church, VA

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Father of Dana Wood

Killed in a truck crash 10/15/02


Marchelle Wood 

Falls Church, VA

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Mother of Dana Wood

Killed in a truck crash 10/15/02


Jackie Novak

Edneyville, NC           

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition      

Mother of Charles “Chuck” Novak                

Killed in a truck crash 10/24/10


Ron Wood

Washington, D.C.

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Son of Betsy Wood, Brother of Lisa Wood Martin, Uncle of Chance, Brock, and Reid Martin

Killed in a truck crash 9/20/04


Cindy Southern

Cleveland, TN

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Wife of James Whitaker, sister-in-law Anthony Hixon and aunt of Amber Hixon 

Killed in a truck crash 9/18/09


Sandra Lance

Chesterfield, VA

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Mother of Kristen Belair

Killed in a truck crash 8/26/09


Alan Dana

Plattsburgh, NY

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Son of Janet Dana, Uncle of Caitlyn & Lauryn Dana, Brother-in-law of Laurie Dana

Killed in a truck crash 7/19/12


Amy Fletcher

Perrysburg, OH 

Volunteer, Truck Safety Coalition

Wife of John Fletcher

Killed in a truck crash 1/24/12


– CVehicle Violence Harms Us Physically and Fiscally – care For Crash Victims

Vehicle Violence Harms Us Physically and Fiscally

December, 2016

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:
Vehicle violence hurts us in so many ways including our health through the air we breathe, our climate, and our pocketbooks.

Bloomberg reports:

Nov. 30 — Advocates will play up the competitiveness and economic advantages of retaining federal greenhouse gas standards for passenger vehicles in a bid to win support from an incoming Trump administration that has suggested the rules could be scaled back.

Retaining the Environmental Protection Agency’s tailpipe standards, which require vehicle manufacturers to achieve the equivalent of 54.5 miles per gallon on average in model year 2025 if all of the required emissions reductions are met solely through fuel economy improvements, will save cash-strapped consumers money at the gas pump and place American manufacturers on equal footing with their foreign competitors, advocates say.

“If these standard are reduced, it’s his strongest base of support that will be hurt the most,” Jack Gillis, an automotive expert at the Consumer Federation of America, told Bloomberg BNA….

While automakers have so far only sought tweaks to the federal program, rolling back the standards could push some states, particularly California, to pursue their own requirements. That would lead to the sort of patchwork regulatory approach manufacturers sought to avoid with their initial support for the EPA and NHTSA’s joint federal standards.

“The auto companies need to be careful what they wish for,” Dan Becker, director of the Center for Auto Safety’s Safe Climate Campaign, told Bloomberg BNA.


Buyer Beware: Used Cars May Be Under Recall

Buyer Beware: Used Cars May Be Under Recall

December, 2016

Dear Care For Crash Victims Community Members:

People who buy used cars are in danger and put us all in danger thanks to government actions and in-actions.

Excellent articles that can help people thinking of buying used vehicles are being published.

The NY Times reports:

“The public has long been wary of used cars and the claims of roadworthiness by the dealers who sell them. On Friday, the nation’s main advertising regulator issued a ruling that consumer groups complained will give used-car dealers too much leeway in the disclosures they are required to make.

The Federal Trade Commission, in a decision that also drew criticism from some lawmakers, said that General Motors and two big used-car chains could advertise their used vehicles as having been carefully inspected and repaired even if the cars might still be subject to safety recalls for problems that had not been fixed.

The only requirement would be that the dealers must advise buyers that the cars could be subject to recalls and tell them how to determine if they are. There would be no requirement that any recall problems be specified or that any repairs be made.

The ruling follows a succession of high-profile cases in which automakers concealed crucial information from car owners, including General Motors’ failure to disclose a deadly ignition switch flaw, Volkswagen’s misrepresentation of pollution emissions, and Honda’s failure to report potential safety problems for more than a decade.”  See

James R. Hood of Consumer Affairs reports:
“CarMax Inc. and two other major car dealers have admitted they sold used cars with unrepaired safety recalls despite touting the supposed rigor with which they inspect cars before selling them.

The dealers have settled Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges by agreeing to a consent order saying they won’t do it again, but Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) says she’s disappointed with the decision. 
“Cars shouldn’t be sold with open recalls – and they definitely shouldn’t be advertised as safe,” said Schakowsky. “I am very disappointed by the FTC’s decision. Instead of stopping deceptive advertising outright, today’s consent orders still allows used car dealers to use a confusing disclaimer that the vehicle may or may not be under recall while continue to advertise it as ‘certified, pre-owned’ or passing a ‘rigorous safety inspection.’
Schakowsky is sponsoring a bill that would ban the practice.
“I have introduced the Vehicle Safety Improvement Act to end the sale of used cars with open recalls, and I will keep fighting to stop car sellers from putting dangerous vehicles on the road. I urge anyone buying a used car to go to www.safercar.gov and check if there’s a safety recall that the seller isn’t telling you about.””

Jim Gorzelany reports on how recalls records differ among manufacturers :“According to published reports, more than 45 million vehicles that were the subject of safety recalls issued between 2013 and 2015 had yet to be brought in for covered repairs as of summer’s end, 2016.

Virtually every manufacturer large and small has been the subject of a recall in recent years, but some brands fare better than others in this regard. To that end, the statisticians at the car shopping website iSeeCars.com in Boston, Mass., analyzed recall histories going back to 1985 to determine which brands have recalled the lowest percentage of vehicles, relative to those sold in a given year, and which brands’ recalls pose the fewest dire consequences, among other metrics.”  See 

We are all in mortal danger of vehicle violence due to many and repeated corporate and governmental failures to protect us.
Lou Lombardo


Another Deadly Failing Grade on the Obama Administration’s Safety Record

Another Deadly Failing Grade on the Obama Administration’s Safety Record

December, 2016

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Please see Advocates Release below.




Contact: Allison Kennedy, 202-408-1711akennedy@saferoads.org







Meaningless Rule Issued by FMCSA Disregards Congressional Mandates, Federal Court Precedent, Experts Convened by the Agency and Common Sense

Rule Only Adds to Agency’s Shameful Legacy of Failing to Issue Effective Training Rule to Advance Safety and Protect the Public

As fatal truck crashes reach levels not seen in years, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has once again shirked its duty to protect truck drivers and the public by issuing a rule that fails to require a minimum number of behind-the-wheel (BTW) training hours for new Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) applicants before sharing the road with American families. The agency’s history of issuing ineffective proposals for CDL training is simply inexcusable when the safety of the motoring public and commercial drivers is at stake.


Congress, safety groups and families of truck crash victims have been battling to get the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to act on a CDL training rule for over two decades.  Individuals operating a large commercial motor vehicle (CMV), either a truck weighing as much as 80,000 pounds or a motorcoach full of passengers traveling home for the holidays, need to have some actual BTW training. Currently, the FMCSA requires only 10 hours of classroom instruction with no BTW training requirement.  In 2005, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected a CDL training rule that failed to require BTW hours.  In 2012, Congress directed FMCSA to issue a rule requiring BTW training as part of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21, Pub. L. 112-141).  That same year, FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC), comprised of transportation and safety experts also recommended that the agency require a minimum number of BTW hours as part of any training rule.


In 2015, FMCSA convened a group of experts to draft a training rule as part of a Negotiated Rulemaking. All but two members of the group supported a requirement that ensures candidates would receive a minimum amount of BTW training.  The vote was unanimous as to the members of the group representing safety groups, training schools, the motorcoach industry and individual drivers.  The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued earlier this year reflected the consensus reached by the group.  Yet, in a complete reversal, the Final Rule issued today strips the BTW requirement and ignores the consensus reached by experts who have collectively spent decades examining this issue.   


The FMCSA’s decision regarding BTW training also ignores established industry practice and defies common sense.  The leading CDL training schools already require that their students complete a minimum number of hours of BTW training.  Numerous states also require that licensed CDL training schools provide a minimum number of BTW hours.  The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires candidates seeking a commercial pilot’s license must have accumulated approximately 250 hours of flight time.  Transportation occupations are not alone in requiring that new entrants gain practical experience before earning a license.  Barbers licensed in Virginia must accumulate 490 hours of minimum performances and nail technicians must have 275 hours.  FMCSA, however, believes there should be no minimum hours required to master the difficult job of safely operating a CMV.


The agency’s utter failure to once again issue a training rule that will require that CDL applicants gain experience that can only be obtained by actually operating a CMV comes at a critical time.  In 2015, 4,067 people were killed in crashes involving large trucks, representing an increase of 4 percent from the previous year and a 20 percent increase from 2009.  This is the first time truck crash deaths have exceeded 4,000 since 2008.  Further, early release data for 2015 shows that 116,000 people were injured in crashes involving large trucks — an increase of 57 percent since 2009.  The annual cost to society from crashes involving commercial motor vehicles is estimated to be over $110 billion. 


The agency has a history of failing the public, and has once again done so by issuing a weak and ineffective rule that will do nothing to advance safety.



Another “Shameful!” failure of the Obama Administration to protect people by working to end vehicle violence.

Watch the DOT Revolving Door.