FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. -- Jennifer Tierney has turned anguish into action, lobbying for a new Senate bill that calls for guard rails on the side of tractor trailers.
The guards would stop cars from crashing underneath tractor trailers, minimizing the impact on the driver and any passengers.
"I've now lived longer than my dad did," explains Tierney.
She lost her father to an underride accident in Davidson County 34 years ago. She says her father, James Mooney was driving down a rural road when he smashed into a tractor trailer blocking the road in 1983. She's been fighting for change ever since.
"It's a very violent way to die," she adds.
Tierney drives her point with recent data showing the difference in impact when it comes to big rigs with the guards and big rigs without.
"It makes what was a lethal deadly, violent crash - it makes it survivable," she says.
Tierney has been lobbying in Washington, D.C. this week for the bill, which was introduced in the Senate Tuesday. Tierney has been sharing her dad's story with lawmakers. The bill has bipartisan support and it also calls for stronger guard rails on the back of trailers to lessen the impact for anyone who rear-ends a big rig, among other additional safety features.
But the side guard rails will come at a cost for drivers and truck companies. For example, rails with AirFlow Deflector cost about $2,500 for the pair. They also add about 800 pounds of extra weight, meaning drivers would have to lessen their loads on the road.
But for Tierney, you can't put a price on safety.
"I don't want anybody else to suffer for something that truly is preventable."