Trucks.com reports on the Conference that included testimony from safety advocate Marianne Karth and others.
“The industry should “move heaven and earth to make the best-possible protection,” said Marianne Karth.
Karth’s teenage daughters AnnaLeah and Mary, riding in the back seat, died from injuries in a 2013 underride accident. Karth’s Ford Crown Victoria was hit by a truck, spun, hit again and shoved backwards under another semi-trailer, flattening the rear of the passenger compartment.
Federal regulations require trailers and some straight trucks to be equipped with rear underride guards – the bars than hang down on the back of trucks and trailers. In fact, regulation requiring modest underride guards have been in place in the U.S. since 1953.
“It’s incredible that we have vehicles today that we can underride,” Molloy said.…
There’s uncertainty over the seemingly straightforward notion of how many people are killed each year in all types of underride accidents.
Federal data from the widely used Fatality Analysis Reporting System logged 5,081 deaths from 1994 to 2014.
Yearly counts range from a low of 198 in 2001 to a high of 299 in 2002. The 2014 count is 228; 2015 data aren’t available yet.
But a September 2013 report from the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine calculated that fatalities from one type of underride collision, the side-crash, are about three times as frequent as the federal data indicates. That’s why some critics are saying the federal data does not represent an accurate fatality count from all types of underride crashes.
The underride crash problem has been debated for decades. Back in 1991 NHTSA rejected extending requirements to prevent underride crashes, stating, “Combination truck side underride countermeasures have been determined not to be cost effective.”