Marianne, IIHS, and Roundtable,
I have worked very hard for twenty years to increase underride guard effectiveness. Since 1992 CRASH and the victim community consensus has been that nothing less than energy absorbing guards are acceptable. Stiff guards are low-speed guards and cannot be made to be high-speed. They do not protect trailer frames from high stress and very possible failure. We now have most new cars with object detection sensors which should vastly decrease lower speed crashes, their failures will tend to be at high-speed. Your Roundtable which I was excluded from for unknown reasons, if on purpose or technical glitch, seems to me clearly to have adopted the consensus industry position. I strongly feel a scientific crash testing regime such as MASH testing at FHWA is the future as Australia has already adopted this best approach. They crash test crash attenuators for trucks at 62 mph which is a real world crash speed unlike the phony 35 mph. We have crash tested guards at 30 to 35 mph for 50 years and have guards that are only effective to 30 to 35 mph. Attenuators which must pass a far more rigorous crash test are effective at speeds beyond 70 mph. If they have a crash test they must improve guards to pass they will improve guards. When they know they will pass the test they will spend nothing to improve safety. Stiff guards are murder and a sellout. Australia and Brazil have crash tested energy absorbing guards effective to near 50 mph since the early 1990’s. Your Roundtable is approving guards CRASH in 1992 would have and did label guillotine guards. Will you testify in cases against victims killed at 40 mph? These guards will be law for the next 30 years, stiff low-speed guards in 2046? We will have small plastic bodied cars, we will be transforming our fleet to energy efficient designs probably all smaller and lighter with people scared of the more efficient vehicles because of big trucks. These guards will spell the end of front guards with rounded ends to deflect bikes and pedestrians, these will spell the end of stronger side guards that work for cars. Cheap guards and designs will rule the roads for another 30 years. I am one victim that is extremely disappointed. Crash testing of vehicles at 35 mph is fraud to fool the American and world publics including crash victims.
This is an open public letter,
The viewpoints of the Underride Network were not presented at the Roundtable,