On September 14, 2021, a petition was submitted to NHTSA to investigate and recall semitrailers due to the lack of side underride guards which would prevent catastrophic injuries and deaths.
Dear Secretary Buttigieg:
In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 30162 and 49 C.F.R § 552.1, please find our petition to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to promptly initiate a safety defect investigation into van-type or box semitrailers because of a known safety hazard and defect from collisions with passenger vehicles and other vulnerable road users (pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists) resulting in death and significant injuries due to a lack of side underride guards. This investigation will clearly demonstrate that NHTSA should issue a recall order pursuant to 49 U.S.C. §§ 30118(b), 30119, and 30120 for all van-type and box semitrailers that lack side underride guards.
Eric Hein, Jerry & Marianne Karth, and Lois Durso
We welcome letters of support to reinforce the importance of this vital recall.
On Monday, March 8, truck crash victims’ families hosted a news conference to discuss their stories and the recent introduction of the STOP Underrides Act of 2021 — on March 4, 2021 in the Senate and March 8 in the House.
It is a well-known fact that underride crashes (and, therefore, underride deaths and injuries) are undercounted. Investigating officers & reporters can help to improve reporting on underride crashes and deaths. Here are some tips, which we’d like you to consider: Truck Crash Investigation Underride Evaluation Checklist (2021)
We know that the trucking industry has expressed concern about potential operational issues which could occur when side guards are installed on large trucks. In order to address those concerns, we asked several trucking companies to give us feedback about their experience after installing side guards on their tractor-trailers. This is what they told us:
On a Friday afternoon — February 26, 2021 — over 50 people met via Zoom to discuss comprehensive underride protection. The purpose of the meeting was to report on progress which has been made by several subcommittees since an earlier meeting in 2020 — including Industry Engagement, Research, and Engineering Subcommittees.
The goal of the Underride Engineering Subcommittee — to which trailer manufacturers were invited — was to create a Consensus Side Guard Standard which would provide additional insight for the development of a side guard regulation. Lengthy conversation and exchange of information has led this group to submit the following recommendation:
A side underride guard shall be considered to meet the performance standard if it is able to provide vehicle crash compatibility with a midsize car, to prevent intrusion into the occupant survival space, when it is struck at any location, at any angle, and at any speed up to and including 40 mph.
The Task Force went so far as to suggest that the Truck Trailers Manufacturers Association (TTMA) discuss the Consensus Side Guard Standard at their upcoming annual meeting in San Antonio, April 7-10, 2021. We encouraged them to come together in a Joint Agreement to adopt or improve the Consensus Side Guard Standard, as an association, and fast track the manufacturing of side guards by their 80th Anniversary in 2022.
Accept the standard; build a guard.
Sean O’Malley, Senior Test Coordinator at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), gave a presentation at the Side Guard Task Force. He stated that, “Everything we do here, we do to save lives. I wasn’t kidding when I said the rear underride program (ToughGuard) is what I’m most proud of. ” Trailer manufacturers responded to the IIHS creation of a safety marketplace for improved rear underride guards by working to meet the TOUGHGuardAward level of protection at the rear of tractor-trailers. Why then would they not do the same to meet the Consensus Side Guard Standard of protection at the sides of tractor-trailers — particularly since the IIHS supports it with their 40 m.p.h. test?
Underride is underride no matter with what part of the truck you collide — because the bottom of large trucks sit up higher from the ground than the bumpers of passenger vehicles. All the way around.
So now what do we do? Will we wait another 100 years? How many more lives have to be sacrificed?
Trucking companies could demand trailers with side underride guards. Trailer manufacturers could supply trailers with side underride guards. Or the government could mandate side underride guards — ideally with the support of industry because a government law or regulation will place all manufacturers on a level playing field.
Families of underride victims and engineers appealed to trailer manufacturers to take the bull by the horn, embrace the Consensus Side Guard Standard, and move forward with developing and installing side underride guards ahead of government requirements.
Today, I was reflecting on the Side Guard Task Force meeting and a strategy for action going forward. As I was looking up information on an engineer from one of the manufacturers, whom I’d met several years ago, I noticed that the manufacturer is making plans to hire an engineering intern for the Summer of 2021. Beautiful! Brilliant! How about we show this young intern how engineers can save lives.
Imagine engineering students from universities around the nation spending the coming year doing internships or senior capstone projects at trailer manufacturing companies working alongside industry engineers on side underride guard development. Collaboration could take place and serve to more rapidly bring about the development and implementation of long-overdue, life-saving technology.
Note: The Side Guard Task Force meeting on February 26, 2021, was a follow-up to an earlier meeting. On April 17, 2020, over 40 people participated in a virtual meeting of a volunteer Underride Protection Committee’s “Side Guard Task Force.” This included two engineers from trailer manufacturers. As a follow-up, several subcommittees began to hold virtual meetings, including an Underride Engineering Subcommittee.
After listening to Andy Young interview Eric Hein about the loss of his son, Riley, in a side underride, participants viewed a photo memorial slideshow of some of the countless underride victims:
Some of the many individuals and organizations who have made contributions to the work on underride protection were celebrated in this Underride Hero Hall of Fame video:
Note: the video of the complete meeting is an unedited Zoom recording. As excerpts from the agenda are created, YouTube video links will be added. – Marianne Karth
Compelling New Documentary Tells the Stories of Underride Victims & Their Families
Cool Breeze Studio has recently released a documentary, Save Lives – STOP Underrides, that tells the stories of underride victims and their families.
Underride Crash Test Event in Washington, D.C. , March 26, 2019
If you were not able to witness the Underride Crash Tests in D.C. in person on March 26, then the next best thing is to see the media coverage of this important event and to view the video footage of all three tests of a car colliding at approximately 30 mph with the side of a tractor-trailer:
The first crash test was into a trailer with an AngelWing side guard — SUCCESSFUL because it prevented underride and Passenger Compartment Intrusion (PCI).
The second crash test was into a trailer with a SafetySkirt side guard — SUCCESSFUL because it prevented underride and Passenger Compartment Intrusion (PCI).
The third crash test was into a trailer with NO side guard (as is the situation with 99.9% of the trucks on the road today) — SUCCESSFUL in that the devastating underride which occurred clearly showed what it is that the other two tests so importantly prevented.
VIDEO FOOTAGE from MGA Research of all three crash tests can be seen here.
The Stop Underrides! Bill was co-led and introduced 12/12/2017, by Senator Gillibrand and Senator Rubio in the Senate and Congressman Cohen and Congressman DeSaulnier in the House, in a bipartisan effort to stem the tide of truck underride fatalities. It was reintroduced on March 5, 2019.
It’s not a new problem! As long as cars and trucks have shared the road, vulnerable road users (VRU’s), motorcyclists and vehicle passengers have been crushed and killed when they get trapped under a trailer. It happened to my daughter, to the Karth daughters and countless other souls. Underride can happen to anyone…at anytime…in any place.
How can you help? Join Team Stop Underrides! Send us an email letting us know you’ll support this life saving legislation. Please call your Senators and representatives to express support. Let your legislators know that you want them to endorse the Stop Underrides Act! Ask for a Stop Underrides bumper sticker to help spread awareness. Reach out to family, friends, neighbors and coworkers – ask them to disseminate information to their network of family and friends.
Ultimately, it’s those that share the road with tractor trailers that will decide if they want to protect loved ones from truck underride. Life is precious – please help us mitigate the risk of death by comprehensive protection around tractor trailers!
How do you ever get over the death of your child? You don’t! Sadness and loss are constant companions. I’m so grateful to God for the glorious memories I have of my precious daughter. Roya was beautiful, kind and so intelligent. Today, I’ve been reflecting on her sense of humor. She had a quick wit . . . laughter came frequently and so easy for Roya. I love thinking about her. . . remembering how special she was to me, her family and friends. People naturally gravitated to Roya because she was such a wonderful young lady. . . so many attributes. Roya’s untimely death was a HUGH loss for me and many others. The name Roya means dream – she feels like a very sweet dream. I miss her. . . so much . . . every day!
Can there be anything good that comes out of the loss of a loved one? It is my prayer that trailer manufacturers and trucking companies will voluntarily implement comprehensive underride protection. No other family should have to endure the profound loss and grief of a loved one. I’m hopeful that they will see the horror of underride deaths and will resolve to do something about it. I am praying that there will also be federal mandates to offer comprehensive protection for those we love. There will always be some companies that simply don’t care – profits are their priority- not human life. Truck underride is a hazard that has claimed countless lives- we MUST act now! Hundreds are needlessly dying every year! For sure, it takes integrity, character, strength and backbone to do what’s right. The RAMCUP ACT of 2017 is an effort to protect families from the pain and heartache I have experienced. Without a doubt – if truck underride could take the life of my child – everyone is vulnerable to this disaster. It doesn’t matter who is at fault – what matters is to mitigate the risk of truck underride fatalities. Together we CAN bring an end to the underride debacle.
This morning, I was reflecting for a moment on how this drafted comprehensive underride protection legislation began back in March. Here are a few interesting things which I posted about during that time (and since):
Today I was searching for underride information online – to my surprise the following comments “popped up” and were written at the time I lost my beloved daughter. Roya was so loved by everyone who had the good fortune to know her. It was an absolute blessing to read each heartfelt note. It’s been twelve years – the pain of her loss is always present. Roya was a gift from God and it was a privilege to be Roya’s mom – I will love her forever.
November 27, 2004 | Geneva, IL
I just found out about Roya’s passing. I am so sorry to hear. I will always remember her as that sweet and kind girl from high school. May the Lord comfort your family.
December 11, 2004 | Carol Stream, IL
My heartfelt condolences go out to your family during difficult time. I was a classmate of Roya’s at Faith Christian in Geneva, and also a sometimes patient of Dr. Sadigh. God Bless you all this.
December 02, 2004 | Warrenville,, IL
Roya touched so many people in such a short time. And I was fortunate enough to know her. Words can’t begin to express who Roya was, who she was going to become, or the sadness and sympathy I want to convey. Your family is in our thoughts.
December 01, 2004 | Minneapolis, MN
I am very sorry for your loss. I knew Roya through Cyrus, she was a very sweet and gentle soul. God bless you and give comfort to your family
November 29, 2004 | Tampa, FL
Dear Dr. Sadigh, Lois, Anthony & Kerri, Chris, and Sarah, We were priviledged to have known and loved Roya. We will always have our very lovely memories of her. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with each of you at this time and always.
Tom, Diana, Jeff & Greg Soltess
November 29, 2004 | St. Charles, IL
I have not been in touch with Roya for several years, but she was someone who left an impact on your soul. I still think of her often, and our friendship was such that it will never be forgotten. My deepest sympathies to the Sadigh family, and all who were a part of Roya’s life; I am so sorry for your loss. You all will be in my thoughts and prayers.
November 29, 2004 | St.Charles, IL
Roya, I know you are up there looking down on us today. I can’t wait to see you again in heaven and give you a big hug. You will always be Anthony’s little sister to me Roya. I am so thankful to have known you, and will never forget you. My heart goes out to Anthony, Chris, Sarah, and Mr. and Mrs. Sadigh. You are in our thoughts in prayers.
Brooks and Amanda Burtch
November 29, 2004 | Clayton, CA
To the Sadigh family, Words cannot express the deep sorrow that my family and I feel at your incomprehensible loss. Roya and I have not been in touch for more than 10 years but she is very present in my heart. She contributed so much to my childhood and was such a positive, caring, giving and loving person. I will never forget spending time with the extraordinary Sadigh family. My family feels blessed with the gift of knowing and sharing special times with Roya. Our thoughts and…
Courtney Desmond Keuer
November 29, 2004 | Alexandria, VA
November 29, 2004
November 29, 2004
November 29, 2004
Anthony, my heart aches for your and your family’s sorrow. You will be in my prayers.
November 29, 2004 | Houston, TX
It is with much mourning and utmost sympathy for Roya’s family and friends that I write. Roya had been with us for only a few months and was working so hard to develop her career. It was always a pleasure when she stopped by the office to pick things up or drop them off. She smiled from her very soul and that affected all who met her. Roya will be sorely missed as part of Carabiner Surgical. It was an honor to work with her. God Bless the Sadigh family as they mourn this most tragic loss….
November 29, 2004 | Vernon Hills, IL
Roya, a beautiful face, with beautiful grace, a shiny star, FOREVER. We miss you & love you as God wraps his arms around you.
To the Sadigh family: It has been a blessing to know and love your wonderful family. We are always here for you.
Love, Walter & Louise Nanashko
November 29, 2004 | Naples, FL
Roya made a positive impact on every person she met, her smile was contagious. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Sadigh family through this difficult time.
Josh & Lisa Hall
November 29, 2004 | Sycamore, IL
We are deeply sadden by the loss of Roya, a beautiful face with beautiful grace. A shiny star forever. To the wonderful Sadigh family: It has been a blessing to know and love you and we share your pain and are here always for you.
Walter & Louise Nanashko
November 29, 2004 | Naples,, FL
Within minutes of meeting Roya we could easily see what a charming, caring and beautiful person she was. We are so sorry we didn’t have more than a few months to get to know such a wonderful person even better. Our hearts go out to her family, friends and Joe. You all have our most heartfelt and deepest sympathies.
Steve and Chelsea LaRocco
November 29, 2004 | Chicago, IL
This is a picture of Roya and I (behind her on the left) when we met at church camp in 1993.I went to school with Roya (Judson). After hanging out a few times, we realized that we had met 6 years earlier going to church camp. I knew I remembered her beautiful smile and personality…Roya: you were a light in this world, and I can’t wait to see you again. To the Sadigh family: I am overwhelmed with grief for you. Your family will be in my prayers.
November 28, 2004 | West Dundee, IL
Although we only knew Roya for a short time, it was apparent to us what a beautiful person she was on the inside and out. We are deeply saddened by her loss, and for the pain those who knew her are all going through. Our deepest condolences go out to her family and to Joe.
Tom and Keri Culhane
November 28, 2004 | Perrysburg, OH
Please accept my deepest sympathy and that of all of the staff of The Schaumburg Treatment Center. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family in this devastating time.
Sharen Hennings, R.N.
November 28, 2004 | IL
I am so saddened by the loss of this fine young lady. The Sadigh Family has always stood out in my mind as well-balanced, very respectful to each other, and others, and very loving. Roya carried these great attributes with grace. My deepest sympathy to your family.
November 27, 2004 | St. Charles, IL
We are deeply saddened for your loss and pray for your family.
John and Heidi Urbelis
November 27, 2004 | Geneva
My heart will forever ache from this loss. You were one of the best friends I’ve ever had and I can’t bear to see your family in this pain. I will forever talk about your unconditional love and loyalty to me, and the powerful love you expressed over your family. Angel, enjoy the wings. I love you.
November 27, 2004 | Chicago, IL
I only worked with Roya for a few years at Bank One, but she was someone with great promise. I am so sorry for your loss.
We have all been on the roads when we are either passing a semi tractor-trailer or they are passing us. Along the sides of the truck, there are almost four feet from the pavement to the bottom of the trailer. People are instinctively uncomfortable when they travel near trucks with open space between the front and rear tires. Cars can … and do go under the sides of trailers with deadly consequences hundreds of times every year.
WUSA9 recently began a series of reports on truck underride. Marianne Karth described the horrific crash that claimed the lives of her precious daughters, AnnaLeah and Mary. I also shared how a truck side underride claimed the life of my beloved daughter, Roya. Truck underride IS preventable! Every truck and trailer in the USA needs comprehensive underride protection. Let’s stop the truck underride carnage!