Care2 Mom Continues to Fight for Truck Safety After Daughters’ Tragic Death

Marianne Karth was driving with three of her nine children when her vehicle was first hit by a tractor-trailer, which spun her car around and pushed it under the rear of another semi-truck’s trailer. 

Her two youngest daughters, 13-year-old Mary Lydia and 17-year-old AnnaLeah, died from injuries sustained in the crash.

Almost immediately, she and her husband began a crusade to fight for stricter truck regulations. They decided to start a petition with the hope that other families would be spared the pain that they were going through.

On May 5, 2014, the one-year anniversary of the tragedy, they delivered that petition to Department of Transportation (DOT) officials in Washington, DC.

This was just the beginning, however. The Karths have now created a second Care2 petition, urging the Department of Transportation to adopt a Vision Zero Policy — a policy that aims for zero deaths and zero serious injuries. The Karths argue that there is currently too much focus on the cost benefit analysis, and safety measures are blocked because they are presumed to be too costly for the “small” amount of lives they will save.

This petition has garnered over 20,000 signatures, and the Karths delivered it successfully in Washington on March 4. They also delivered “Vision Zero Petition: Zero Crash Deaths And Serious Injuries,” the book they have written advocating for better regulations around truck safety.


Photo Credit: Care2

Demanding A Vision Zero Safety Strategy

Here’s how their petition opens:

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death—about 33,000 people die in crashes each year. The Department of Transportation makes highway safety rules based upon how much safety measures will cost. We are hoping to change that and move toward a Vision Zero safety strategy model with goals of: Zero Deaths, Zero Serious Injuries, Zero Fear of Traffic.

In addition to creating these two petitions, the Karths have been meeting with trucking companies to advocate for upgrades to underride guards — the steel bars designed to prevent a passenger vehicle from going underneath a truck, which would have saved the lives of their children, had they been in place.

They have also started a foundation in their late daughters’ names to help fund research for better underride guards.

“It has been almost 20 years since any improvements have been made on this safety standard and new regulations should be required reflecting advancements in technology,” said Jerry Karth. “There are other countries worldwide that have developed stronger designs and standards and have participated in studies regarding safer practices, which should be reviewed and possibly adopted.”

Specifically, the petition calls on Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx to apply Vision Zero principles and to require forward collision avoidance and mitigation braking on all new large trucks, as well as crash test-based performance standards for truck side and rear underride guards.

The Karths are grateful for the support they have received from Care2 members so far.

“It is encouraging to know we’re not out there on our own, but that there are thousands of others who have become aware of this issue and are willing to take the time to support us in our fight to improve safety on our roadways,” Marianne Karth said. “And not only do they support us, but they add to our voice so that hopefully it will make more of an impact with the people who can do something about this problem.”

The petition is still open, and you can take action by signing here.



John M.
John M1 years ago

These kind of incidents are increasing day by day. Something serious needs to be done by transportation authority. Certaing truck shipping company must take lessons from some reputed car transport contractors in following traffic guidelines and appointment of well trained and skilled drivers.

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Jane R.
Jane R2 years ago

Petition signed. Trucking industries need to focus on safety, not dollars!

Sue H.
Sue H2 years ago

Thanks, petition signed.

Marie W.
Marie W2 years ago

Trucking is a dangerous industry and less regulated all the time.

h masih
.2 years ago

Sorry for your loss.What a good way to honour her memory.Why does there have to be a tragedy to make things happen though.

Naomi Dreyer
Naomi D2 years ago

Signed last Oct. So very sorry for your loss.

Margie FOURIE2 years ago

I feel so sorry for you. If my daughter was with me no longer, I think I would have to be admitted to an institution.

Liliana Garcia
Liliana Garcia2 years ago

Signed. The tragedy speaks for itself. The costs must be assumed but please make it somehow tax deductible.