Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Safety first


Safety is no accident!

Those of us working for truck safety appreciated all your support and kind words as we worked together to increase the safety on our roads. It’s been a tough few days for us as we gathered with determination to make a difference, many still raw from recent loss.

But it was amazing too.

I saw people with grief fresh on Saturday, sobbing through the initial telling of their stories, grow to tell those same stories calmly and firmly at the press conference on Tuesday. Friendships were forged that will last forever. People know they are not alone and progress is being made

Working the halls of Congress.

One of the most exciting things I saw during the conference was a short video clip of a side underride guard being tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In the first clip a mid-sized car was sent into the side of a semi trailer at 35 miles per hour, the standard speed the IIHS uses in test crashes. Without a side guard the car slides right under the trailer, the car’s safety features useless because the front of the vehicle doesn’t collide with anything. Air bags don’t deploy, the test dummy heads strike the side of the trailer. Death is probable.

In the second clip a side guard has been attached to a semi trailer, and the car sent speeding toward the trailer. The front of the vehicle crashes into the side guard, crumpling as it is designed to do. The passenger compartment is protected, in fact after the crash the driver door still opens and the occupants would have been minimally injured.

The passenger would survive!


Side and rear underride is a major safety issue, and one that The Truck Safety Coalition is focusing on this year. For many of our families it’s proof that finally someone is listening. So many of their loved ones died by sliding under a truck and finally we are making progress to stop that from happening in the future. The guard we saw is affordable, relatively light, and easy to install. And future iterations will be even lighter and more affordable. We believe that soon you’ll see them on the trucks driving near you on our nation’s roads.

I’m proud to be a part of this year’s Sorrow to Strength conference, proud to walk the halls of Congress, meet Members, talk to staff, support safety. Regardless of the political climate there is good work that will be done, good people to work with, good ideas that will be supported.

It wasn’t easy. My feet are tired and so is my head but my heart remains strong and my vision is clear. The roads are safer because of people like us, groups with no agenda other than safety. It takes work. But we’ll work on it forever.

Because safety is no accident.

Spreading the news.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

11 thoughts on “Safety first

  1. I work in risk management and that is our motto every single day: Safety is no accident. This is a good thing you do, Dawn.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Believe it or not…”Safety First” was “invented” by my Father way back in the day with what was then known as the National Safety Council…It was part of the WW II effort in our factories and became the catchword in the post war era. I grew up with it and endured it at times in our home 🙂 This certainly dates me for sure!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You are all to be admired for your dedication, determination, and hard work. I’m so glad you feel good about this session.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We feel as good as we can given the climate. The side underride will probably move forward faster by us going directly to the market…we’re fine with that. Seems that the government is behind in most things lately related to safety…if we can get people and companies to do things because it’s better and/or the right thing to do then we will. Regulations can catch up or not.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for your tireless work on truck safety. It is people like you who WILL make the difference in the world . Your determination and tenacity to bring safety and awareness to all is a true gift to those of us who have lost loved ones in truck related accidents. I thanks you from the bottom of my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What good news you’ve shared here! First, that the families suffering recent losses have found strength and encouragement through your group; second, that a device is available that won’t cost a fortune but could save lives. Long way to go, yes, but progress is progress — well done!

    Liked by 1 person

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