The loss of a child is one of the most difficult experiences a person can endure. For Stephen Eimers, the death of his daughter in a car accident last year led to a personal mission: to get defective guardrails, like the one that malfunctioned in his daughter’s crash, off the roads.
“I’ve got to be able to look that next mother or father in the eyes who’s lost a child to an accident, or a husband or a wife, and say I did every last thing that I could do,” Eimers told Cincinnati.com recently.
The X-Lite guardrail end terminal, made by Lindsay Transportation Solutions, is supposed to absorb the energy of a collision. Instead of folding under pressure like an accordion as designed, the X-Lite instead pierced Eimers’ daughter’s vehicle.
Since losing his daughter, Eimers has traveled the country advocating for victims who were hurt or killed in similar accidents. At least six victims were involved in crashes like Eimers’ daughter’s, but he believes there may be many more whose stories have not been told.
The X-Lite guardrail end terminal can be found in 20 states, but Eimers wants to see them phased out and replaced by safer alternatives. Though the X-Lite guardrails are crash tested, they are done so at labs owned by the manufacturers of the device. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration doesn’t oversee or pay for the tests. The Government Accountability Office highlighted the potential for bias in a recent report.
Eimers says he won’t stop his mission until all Lindsay guardrails are off the roads.
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