Underride Roundtable 2015

In 2015, 4,067 people were killed in large truck crashes in the United States

Underride Roundtable 2015

The Truck Safety Coalition co-hosted the first ever Underride Roundtable at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safetys testing facility in Ruckersville, VA. The conference brought together researchers, safety advocates, government officials, and industry leaders to discuss truck underride crashes, examine the scope of the problem, and determine how to reduce the risks for passenger vehicle occupants through regulation and voluntary action. A crash test was also conducted to demonstrate improved underride guards.

underride roundtable 2015

“This conference is a critical milestone in the decades-long effort to strengthen underride protections for large trucks to prevent needless injuries and fatalities,” said John Lannen, Executive Director of the Truck Safety Coalition. “We hope that today’s discussion will spur swift industry and government action on underride which has long been recognized as a major safety issue.”

John Lannen continued, “Reviewing the research underscored startling data that demonstrate the need for long-overdue action to prevent underride crashes. At this conference, however, we did not stop at identifying the issues. We also worked to identify common ground to create commonsense reforms that have a meaningful impact on safety.”

At the conference, Jennifer Tierney, a board member of Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH), presented the Distinguished Safety Leadership Award to Greer Woodruff, Senior Vice President of Safety, Security, and Driver Personnel of J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. for his outstanding and longtime dedication to improving truck safety.

“I have been advocating for stronger underride guards after my father, James Mooney, was killed in a truck underride crash thirty-three years ago. While many lives would have been saved had there been action following his death, this Underride Roundtable is major step in the right direction” stated Jennifer Tierney. “I look forward to working with government and industry officials as a member of the Underride Initiative at the Truck Safety Coalition to achieve a goal of zero underride crashes.”

Were you unable to attend the Underride Roundtable? View the entire event here: https://event.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1100569

Truck Safety Awards – Press Release

Articles on Underride Roundtable

Underride Roundtable Pictures

The roundtable was organized and sponsored by

IIHS, the Truck Safety Coalition and Annaleah & Mary for Truck Safety

TSC Logo


ARLINGTON, VA (May 10, 2017) – The Truck Safety Coalition’s Underride Initiative, consisting of families of truck underride crash victims and survivors, is extremely pleased with the results of a recent crash test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) that assessed a side underride guard for the first time ever.

The IIHS conducted two tests of a midsize car traveling at 35 mph colliding with the center of a 53-foot-long dry van at a 90-degree angle – the most difficult type of side underride collision to prevent. In one scenario, the trailer was equipped with a fiberglass side skirt intended (only) to improve aerodynamics, which did nothing to prevent the car from riding underneath the trailer. The car was decimated, the roof sheared, and any passengers would have been killed.

In the other scenario, the trailer was equipped with an AngelWing Side Underride protection device –manufactured by Airflow Deflector Inc. Instead of riding under the trailer and allowing for passenger compartment intrusion, this innovative side underride guard allowed the car’s airbags to deploy and its crumple zone to help diffuse the kinetic energy transferred upon impact. These safety features have been rendered ineffective in the past due to the lack of crash compatibility between cars and the sides of trailers.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrL7AUMT4To[/embedyt]

With more than 2,000 passenger vehicle occupants killed in two-vehicle crashes in which the passenger vehicle strikes side of the tractor-trailer between 2009 and 2015, there is a clear need to address this fatal problem. It should also be noted that the aforementioned fatality figure greatly underestimates the true extent of people killed in side underride crashes as it does not include crashes involving bicyclists and pedestrians, multi-vehicle crashes, and any crash that happened in a jurisdiction that does not record whether underride occurred.

At a time when truck crash injuries and deaths continue to climb, up 57 percent and 20 percent respectively between 2009 and 2015, the industry and regulators should share our sense of urgency to reverse these trends. We need more innovation, action, and collaboration.

When we do work together, like at the first ever Truck Underride Roundtable, we can make real advances in truck safety. In fact, that meeting of industry leaders, government officials, and safety advocates helped lead to the creation of this side underride guard that successfully prevented a side underride crash at 35 mph.

This side underride guard would have made a big difference in many of our lives, and we are proud that our advocacy will help prevent others from sustaining a major injury or losing a loved one in a side underride crash. We call on our Members of Congress and federal regulators to ensure that this technology is fully adopted by the trucking industry by requiring all trailers to be equipped with side underride guards.


Tampa-Area Businessman, Lance Ringhaver Died in Truck Crash

On April 4, 2016, at approximately 8:35 p.m., Lance C. Ringhaver was driving an Infinity Q705 south in the center lane on U.S. Highway 41 in Apollo Beach when it came upon a tractor-trailer, blocking the roadway. The truck driver attempted to make a left turn north of U.S. Highway 41, but failed to make a complete turn when Ringhaver crashed into the tractor trailer truck and his car was wedged underneath.  Mr. Ringhaver died at the scene.

The truck driver, identified as Isbel Perez Guzman was not injured, but was cited for failing to yield the right of way.

Trucks with weak underride guards, or none at all, offer little to no protection for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians who can possibly crash into the sides or rear of a truck and trailer. Rear underride guards are required on many trucks and trailers, but the standard is antiquated and ineffective in preventing underride crashes from becoming injurious or fatal. Overall, more than 4,000 people are killed in truck crashes every year in the United States and a portion of the preventable fatal crashes involve underride.

To find more information please visit the website: http://www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org

                                                              WE ARE HERE TO HELP

Underride Roundtable Articles

WLMT TV (Memphis)


WVIR TV (Charlottesville, VA)


The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, VA)






Business Wire




Automotive World


Rocky Mount Telegram (NC)


Karth, Anna Leah and Mary

AnnaLeah and MaryAnnaLeah Karth

DOB: May 15, 1995

DOD: May 4, 2013

AnnaLeahMary Lydia Karth

DOB: August 6, 1999

DOD: May 8, 2013

Mary KarthLink to AnnaLeah and Mary for Truck Safety: http://annaleahmary.com/about/


Truck Safety Coalition Honors Industry Leaders for Safety Commitment

The Truck Safety Coalition has honored three trucking industry leaders for commitment and dedication to fleet safety.

TSC, often seen as an “anti-truck” group, presented the Distinguished Safety Leadership Award to Greer Woodruff, senior vice president of safety, security and driver personnel of J.B. Hunt Transport Services.

The group gave special recognition for J.B. Hunt’s purchase of 4,000 Wabash trailers with enhanced rear underride protections. The underride guards are engineered to prevent underride crashes at higher impact speeds and overlap percentages. Woodruff was also recognized for using telematics to supervise driving behaviors and enhanced drug testing procedures to promote safe driving at J.B. Hunt.

“The Truck Safety Coalition commends Greer Woodruff for his strong commitment to advancing truck safety during his 28 years at J.B. Hunt,” said John Lannen, executive director of the TSC. “I applaud Woodruff and his team for their tireless efforts to eliminate all crashes involving J.B. Hunt drivers and equipment.”

In addition to Woodruff, TSC announced that Reggie Dupre, CEO of Dupre Logistics, and Steve Williams, chairman and CEO of Maverick USA, will receive the Truck Safety Leadership Award at a later date.

Dupre was noted for implementing a training program for drivers, a fatigue management plan that includes hourly pay for many of Dupre Logistics’ drivers, and the use of “common-sense safety technologies.”

“We also commend Mr. Dupre for his involvement in the Trucking Alliance, which supports an increase for the minimum insurance required by motor carriers, and recently announced its opposition to efforts going on right now in the United States Senate to roll back federal hours of service rules for truck drivers,” said Jane Mathis, vice president of the Truck Safety Coalition.

Williams is a founder of the Trucking Alliance and has advocated for electronic logging devices and opposed increases to truck size and weight. He has also implemented collision avoidance technology on fleet vehicles, including electronic stability control, collision mitigation systems, and lane departure warning systems with forward-looking cameras.

“Steve Williams, Reggie Dupre and Greer Woodruff and their companies are leaders in the Trucking Alliance,” said Lane Kidd, who serves as managing director of the Trucking Alliance. “And these awards are further recognition of their commitment to reduce accidents and a belief that we must work with all transportation stakeholders to promote greater highway safety for truck drivers and motorists alike.”

The Truck Safety Coalition is made up of Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways and Parents Against Tired Truckers. The group is dedicated to reducing the number of deaths and injuries caused by truck-related crashes and provides support to truck crash survivors and families of truck crash victims.

Link: http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/story/2016/05/truck-safety-coalition-honors-industry-leaders-for-safety-commitment.aspx

Change is Hard: Dawn King’s Comments on the Underride Roundtable

by Dawn King, President of the Truck Safety Coalition

Crash dummy survives!

Crash dummies waiting to go to work.
I’d never been a witness to a test crash before. I suppose not many people have. It’s kind of a surreal experience, especially for a person that’s had a loved one die in a violent crash.My husband and I, along with several other of our truck safety volunteers attended an all day conference at the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety in Charlottesville Virginia on Thursday.

And it wasn’t just us in attendance.

In an unprecedented move truck companies, trailer manufacturers, safety advocates, bicycle and pedestrian representatives, policy makers, and researchers were all together in one room to talk about the problem of truck underride.

Most of you don’t know what truck underride is, and I wish I didn’t have to explain it to you. But because our country is a generation behind Europe you probably haven’t seen a truck sporting a side guard to keep a car from traveling under the trailer in a crash.

Perhaps, if you’ve been in New York City or Boston recently, you’ve seen city trucks with side guards; those two cities have now mandated this safety precaution after several bicyclists and pedestrians were killed by falling beneath the trailers and being crushed by the wheels.

Side and rear underride is a huge problem outside cities too. As you pass a semi out on the freeway, and if it’s safe, glance over and see where the underside of that trailer would hit you if you slid under. Just about the height of your head. And if you slide under your airbags won’t deploy as there would be no impact of the engine and front of your car. The first impact would be the windshield, and that won’t save you.

And don’t think you’re safe if you hit a semi from behind. Many of the rear guards were built to 1953 standards and will collapse if you hit them with any speed. Once again, the only thing between your head and the back of that trailer will be the windshield.

In the lobby of IIHS.  No airbags in the old days.

So for years safety advocates, including the Truck Safety Coalition, has been asking the Department of Transportation to require better rear guards, and to start the process to mandate side guards. It’s another one of those no-brainer things that we just can’t seem to get done through normal channels.

Thursday’s conference wasn’t a normal channel. Never before has the industry met with the safety people to discuss making changes that would move ahead of any regulations that might some day come out of the D.O.T. Never before has such candid conversations been held, without animosity, without rancor, with only safety in mind.

It was amazing.

At noon we went into the lab and watched a test crash of a Malibu slamming at 35 mpr into the back of a semi trailer that had been equipped with a new, stronger rear guard. Some of us weren’t sure we wanted to witness such a thing, but we’re all glad we did.

The dummy survived this crash because the rear guard was strong.

Because in this case the new rear guard held up and the passenger compartment, crash dummy inside, was not penetrated. (You can watch the crash test here.) Everyone inside this particular car would have survived. For many people the test crash was the highlight of the day. But I thought the highlight was later in the program.

During the day we had speakers from New York City and Boston tell us about the processes they went through requiring side guards on trucks within their city limits. We had speakers from government talking about where in the regulatory process we are, speakers from trailer manufacturers talking about stronger rear guards that are ready for market now, from a truck company that has ordered 4,000 of the new, safer rear guards, and from Virginia Tech students who showed us their own new design for a stronger, safer rear guard.

Explaining one of their designs they didn't end up choosing to build.

Those students almost made me cry. They were undergraduates, the project assigned to them was to build a better rear guard for a semi truck. They, like most people, had never heard of underride crashes before. They learned about the problem, dreamed up a number of potential solutions, weeded their options down to four, and then figured out which one was the most plausible, most acceptable to both the trucking industry and safety advocates.

And then they built a it.

Virginia Tech student and a Truck Safety Volunteer who has been fighting for side guards since her dad was killed 33 years ago.

Incredibly 18 and 19 year old young people spent a year on this project, realized the importance of their work, and were brave enough to come and speak about it to a group of adults working in the industry. They were excited about their design and proud to show it off. And a room full of jaded adults sat respectfully listening, leaning forward, following along, congratulation the students at the end for a good design, inviting them to join the industry after they graduate. To think that this whole room of people, including the kids, was there to make the roads safer for everyone. Well. That just about made me tear up.

It should make you tear up too.

Because change is happening. It’s happening because we’ve moved past regulations and asked the industry to listen and to do what’s right. And they are responding. Not everyone. And not every request. But some. And some change will lead to more change. And every step we make toward safety saves another life.

Change is hard. But it’s not impossible.

Link: https://dawnkinster.wordpress.com/ 

Underride Roundtable Pictures

One dead and Two in Critical Conditions after a Truck Crash in Wildwood, FL

On April 16, 2016, at approximately 5:40 a.m., a man, identified as Clayton Tripp, 84, was driving a Chevy Malibu westbound on freeway SR44 when he collided with a semi-truck trailer truck and his car was wedged under the truck.

The truck driver was on eastbound SR44 when he was making a U-turn to travel westbound towards interstate 75. He was not injured and was cited for violation of right-of-way.

Mr. Tripp and his passengers, his wife, Janice Tripp, 85, and his daughter, Dianne Tripp, 58, were all seriously injured. One person was airlifted to Ocala Regional Medical Center and the other two were taken in an ambulance. Clayton Tripp died a few days later from his injuries.

Trucks with weak underride guards, or none at all, offer little to no protection for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians who can possibly crash into the sides or rear of a truck and trailer. Rear underride guards are required on many trucks and trailers, but the standard is antiquated and ineffective in preventing underride crashes from becoming injurious or fatal. Overall, more than 4,000 people are killed injury statistic should be here as well in truck crashes every year in the United States.

To find more information please visit the website: www.trucksafety.org or send an email to info@trucksafety.org. 

                                                               WE ARE HERE TO HELP

Truck Underride Roundtable

When: Thursday, May 5, 2016 (9:00 AM to 3:00 PM)

Where: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Vehicle Research Center in Ruckersville, VA

Please join us as researchers, government officials and industry leaders gather to discuss truck underride crashes and how to reduce the risks for passenger vehicle occupants. We will explore the scope of the problem and how regulation and voluntary action can help address it. In a crash test, IIHS researchers will demonstrate how underride protection has already improved. The full agenda and additional details will follow in the coming weeks.

Please RSVP to Chamelle Matthew at cmatthew@iihs.org or 703.247.1530


Rooms have been reserved for the night of May 4, 2016, at these Charlottesville hotels:

Omni – IIHS room rate:  $199

Cut-off date to make reservation:  Sunday, March 20, 2016;

located at 212 Ridge McIntire Rd, Charlottesville, VA 22903.

Hyatt Place – IIHS room rate: $109

Cut-off date to make reservation:  Wednesday, April 20, 2016;

located at 2100 Bond Street, Charlottesville, Virginia, 22901.

The roundtable is being organized and sponsored by

IIHS, the Truck Safety Coalition and Annaleah & Mary for Truck Safety

From the Truck Safety Coalition… Video on Truck Blind Spots Highlights Need for Side Underride Guards

Side underride guards are a simple improvement that can make large trucks safer for pedestrians and cyclists by physically covering the cavity between the front and rear wheels of the truck. Given that nearly half of bicyclists and more than one quarter of pedestrians killed by a large truck first impact the side of a truck, TSC will continue to advocate for these safety enhancements on all interstate single unit trucks and trailers. Please watch this video from the British Safety Council (below) that illustrates the dangers of trucks’ blind spots and underscores why these side protections would reduce the instances of side impact truck crashes with pedestrians and bicyclists that result in needless fatalities and injuries.


After cycling deaths, a plea for truck safety guards

Some of Dustin Weigl’s fondest memories of his older brother, Christopher, include their long-winded arguments about which to spread first, peanut butter or jelly, on a sandwich.

But that banter between brothers ended in 2012, when Christopher, a 23-year-old Boston University graduate student, was killed by a truck as he rode his bicycle in Boston.

“My world was absolutely shattered in a way that can never really be repaired,” Weigl said. His voice cracking at times, he testified before the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Transportation Wednesday in support of two bills that would require the installation of protective side guards on certain large vehicles. He said the safety gear could have saved his brother’s life.

“My family believes that this whole collision could have been prevented,” Weigl said. “If side guards had been installed on this truck, Christopher probably would have survived.”

The bills were filed by Representative Daniel Hunt and Senator William Brownsberger, who say bicyclist fatalities often occur when large vehicles take sharp turns and riders fall beneath the vehicles’ rear wheels.

Side guards between the front and back wheels help push cyclists away from the vehicle. The guards can be installed on existing trucks or built into new vehicles.

The lawmakers said side guards and convex mirrors, which would give drivers better visibility, could help reduce bicyclist and pedestrian deaths.

“It’s the appropriate response to a very real issue that the city and the state is facing,” Hunt said.

At least five people died in crashes with trucks in Boston in the past four years, city officials testified at the hearing.

The latest was in August, when Cambridge resident Anita Kurmann was killed while bicycling near the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Beacon Street. The truck had neither side guards nor convex mirrors, officials said.

“If you look at communities around the Commonwealth, these tragedies are playing out in Cambridge, Brockton, Malden, Northampton, and Wellesley, just to name a few,” said Kris Carter, cochairman of Boston’s New Urban Mechanics office. Carter testified while sitting alongside Weigl.

Boston passed a side-guard ordinance in 2014, following a successful pilot program. Billed as a US first, it requires all large city-contracted vehicles to be fitted with side guards.

But Carter said trucks that are not contracted by the city aren’t required to have the guards, and the city doesn’t have authority to expand the requirement to other trucks.

“That’s where we look to your leadership,” Carter told the panel. “We look to your leadership in recognizing a simple fix that can greatly improve the streets across the Commonwealth for the people of Massachusetts, and set an example for the rest of the country.”

Members of the Boston Cyclists Union and Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition also spoke in favor of the bills.

“We can potentially prevent these incidents from happening,” said Barbara Jacobson, program director at the coalition, “rather than dealing with the after-effects of tragedy.”

The committee also heard testimony about several other bills designed to keep vulnerable road users safe.

One, also filed by Brownsberger, would make it illegal for a motorist to double-park or to idle in lanes designated specifically for cyclists. A violation of the law would lead to a fine of $100.

Another bill would require at least 3 feet of space between cars passing bicyclists or joggers, and even more distance if the car is traveling faster than 30 miles per hour.

Meghan McGrath, an emergency medical doctor who works at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in Burlington, said her husband was riding in a bike lane last year when he was cut off by a car, causing him to fall off of the bicycle, split his helmet open, and break his hand.

“I feel strongly that we need better rules to protect vulnerable road users,” McGrath said. “Riding a bike or jogging should not mean taking your life in your hands.”

Brianna Arnold, a political science major at Stonehill College whose uncle was killed last week while riding his bicycle in Worcester, agreed.

Tears welling in her eyes, Arnold recalled her uncle’s love for biking.

“The family feels hopeless after such an accident happens,” she said. “Maybe the people . . . listening could hear what happened, and hopefully choose to make those changes that would save someone else’s life.”

Steve Annear can be reached
at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.

Link to Article: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/01/06/bike-advocates-headed-state-house-for-safety-hearing/eqaZPieLFQ4xnpKTWiJkqK/story.html