IIHS Unveils New Safety Improvements for Tractor Trailers
May 05, 2016 05:39 PM
Safety demonstration at IIHS
Marianne Karth, lost her daughters in a tractor-trailer accident
GREENE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -
On Thursday, a national highway safety authority unveiled drastic safety improvements in the works for the tractor-trailer industry.
Greene County's Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) hosted a forum with families who know the tragic reality of devastating tractor-trailer crashes.
Transportation researchers say hundreds of people die every year in crashes with tractor-trailers. IIHS says its research has pushed more tractor-trailer manufacturers to equip their trucks with better rear guardrails.
IIHS says its research has pushed more tractor-trailer manufacturers to equip their trucks with better rear guardrails.
The guardrails could save hundreds of lives on the road.
"The problem is being highlighted, it's being openly discussed," said Marianne Karth, who lost her daughter in a crash.
Three years ago, two of Karth's daughters - AnnaLeah and Mary - were killed when their car ran into the back of a tractor-trailer.
She's encouraged that tests like this show underride guardrails are getting stronger thanks to better engineering and materials.
"It's like yes! You know it did it! But, oh if only this had happened you know, five, 10 years ago so that the truck that was on the road at the time that we were there, then Ally and Marie might be here today. So that's a real bittersweet kind of victory," said Karth.
She says it’s about time groups advocating for stricter safety regulations on large vehicles voice their concerns together.
"There didn't seem to be good communication among the government and IIHS and the manufacturers and the safety advocates," said Karth.
"Having these partnerships with the people who are advocating for change is important to making sure that the research we do gets used by policy makers, gets used by manufacturers of trailers, gets used by manufacturers of vehicles," said David Zuby, a chief research officer at IIHS.
IIHS wants manufacturers to fasten safer guards to their new trucks, but Karth thinks it should go a step further.
"I would like to see existing trailers retro-fitted because they can also cause deaths," said Karth.
IIHS plans to host more round table discussions on the topic to include groups that are concerned with bicycle safety around tractor trailers, and improvements to underride guards along the sides of trucks.
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