guardrail cap

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Federally mandated crash tests of a controversial highway safety device are underway in San Antonio, Texas. The company who manufactures the ET-Plus guardrail end terminal, Trinity Industries, has been under much scrutiny this year. A Texas judge found that the company had defrauded the government by changing the design of the ET-Plus without notifying officials. Since this revelation, forty states have suspended or banned the installation of the guardrail on their roads and highways.

The Federal Highway Administration has since requested that a series of crash tests be conducted to prove the safety – or potential danger – of the ET-Plus. In the most recent test, a Geo Metro traveling at 62 mph collided head on with the Et-Plus. Reports say that the car was damaged, with most of the bumper coming completely off. While the guardrail did not spear the vehicle (as many real word accident reports involving the ET-Plus have indicated), the rail did not ribbon out as it should. Instead, the guardrail crumpled into a zig zag pattern.

Four of the eight crash tests have now been completed, with the next test scheduled for January 14. The remaining tests will involve a 27 3/4 inch height ET-Plus guardrail. Size has been a major concern in the ET-Plus investigation, as Trinity Industries has changed the size of their product multiple times without alerting officials. Experts say the size of the materials used could be the reason why the guardrails are malfunctioning. The next four tests will involve exit gaps of just 1 inch – the minimum standard industry size.

Seriously Injured in an Accident Involving a Guardrail?

Our Guardrail Injury Lawyers are currently investigating serious and fatal guardrail accidents related to this potentially dangerous guardrail design. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident with a guardrail, contact our attorneys to discuss your legal options. We offer a free, no obligation, case evaluation – Get Help Now 877-544-5323

Crash testing has begun on the controversial ET-Plus guardrail end terminal device. The Federal Highway Adminstration ordered the tests this fall following reports across the country that the safety device was potentially defective. More than 30 states placed a temporary ban on the installation of the device while awaiting the results of the crash tests. NYTimes.com reports that there are over 200,000 of these guardrail end caps on roads through the nation.

There has been some debate among regulators about the type of crash testing conducted on the Trinity Industries product. The crash tests have been created and implemented by Trinity following standards set nearly a decade ago. Some policy makers argue that these standards are too lenient. Testing guidelines were updated in 2011, but federal officials have not required Trinity to follow them. They insist that because the ET-Plus was eligible for federal funding in 2005, it qualifies to be tested under the old guidelines.

Ultimately, the results of these crash tests will determine the fate of the ET-Plus, but results will not be made public until after the new year. Limited press has been allowed to cover the testing, but no cameras or recording devices have been allowed to capture the results.

Some believe the ET-Plus devices are too dangerous to remain on the roads while crash testing and investigations continue. Crews in Nashville, Tennessee began removing guardrail heads around the metro area. Virginia also plans to remove the ET-Plus from roads, but officials have admitted that the exact location of the devices is unknown. That will likely mean a lengthy, expensive removal process.

Seriously Injured in an Accident Involving a Guardrail?

Our Guardrail Injury Lawyers are currently investigating serious and fatal guardrail accidents related to this potentially dangerous guardrail design. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident with a guardrail, contact our attorneys to discuss your legal options. We offer a free, no obligation, case evaluation – Get Help Now 877-544-5323

A series of federally mandated crash tests have begun on a controversial piece of highway safety equipment. The ET-Plus, designed by Trinity Industries, has been known to malfunction in car accidents. Rather than protect passengers by folding backward under the weight of the collision, the ET-Plus has acted a spear, piercing vehicles and injuring those inside. Some have experienced amputation, others death.

The fault in the product may lie in a redesign that went unauthorized and untested by federal regulators back in 2005. The reduction in size of a crucial metal piece could be the reason the device is defective. With hundreds of thousands of these guardrails scattered throughout our country, crash testing is critical in determining the role of the ET-Plus on our roads.

According to click2houston.com, the first of eight crash tests indicated that the guardrail end terminal acted as it should in a collision. It involved a pickup truck approaching the guardrail from an angle. The next test will involve a head on collision. All eight tests should be completed by January, with the Federal Highway Administration on hand to determine the safety of the product.

Over thirty states have temporarily banned the installation of the ET-Plus, but few have actually resolved to remove them from the road. Road crews do not typically keep track of which device is installed where, so the removal process will likely be expensive and lengthy. Virginia recently filed a lawsuit against Trinity Industries that will require the company to cover the costs of removing and replacing the guardrails.

Seriously Injured in an Accident Involving a Guardrail?

Our Guardrail Injury Lawyers are currently investigating serious and fatal guardrail accidents related to this potentially dangerous guardrail design. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident with a guardrail, contact our attorneys to discuss your legal options. We offer a free, no obligation, case evaluation – Get Help Now 877-544-5323

Virginia’s attorney general has filed a complaint against Trinity Industries, a guardrail manufacturer who was recently found to be defrauding the government. Unauthorized changes were made to a safety device, the ET-Plus guardrail end terminal. Experts now believe those changes are the cause of the product’s malfunctions.

Virginia has become the first state to join in on the whistle-blowing lawsuits against Trinity Industries. Over thirty states have temporarily banned the installation of the ET-Plus, but few have begun actually removing them from their roads and highways. NYTimes.com reports that with Virginia taking the lead, other states will likely follow in pursuit of their own lawsuits against Trinity Industries.

If crash tests reveal the company did indeed sell Virginia defective products, the state is seeking civil penalties and recovery of costs associated with the guardrail heads. There are thousands of these guardrail end caps along Virginia’s roads, and the removal and the lengthy replacement process will likely be expensive.

The ET-Plus is designed to collapse under the force of a colliding vehicle, absorbing the impact by folding backward like an accordion. Instead, the guardrail end terminal has acted as spear, piercing the vehicles and injuring passengers. Some have even lost limbs in accidents involving the ET-Plus.

Federally ordered crash tests are currently being conducted and results will be made public next month. Virginia officials were present for the testing, but were not allowed to inspect the ET-Plus before the crash. The units being tested are from Trinity’s inventory, not devices used on public roads.

Seriously Injured in an Accident Involving a Guardrail?

Our Guardrail Injury Lawyers are currently investigating serious and fatal guardrail accidents related to this untested guardrail design. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident with a guardrail, contact our attorneys to discuss your legal options. We offer a free, no obligation, case evaluation – Get Help Now 877-544-5323

Late last month, Arizona suspended the use of the Trinity ET-Plus guardrail over fears of its performance in the event of an accident.

In addition to the more than 30 states that have suspended use of the guardrail, the federal government has stepped in and requested additional safety tests.

Arizona DOT - Guardrail Injury LaywerAccording to the Arizona Department of Transportation, there are 3,600 of these guardrails installed throughout the state. While this may be a small number, when compared to some other states, it only takes one to cause serious injury or death in a collision.

Before banning use, the Arizona Department of Transportation said the following in a letter to the Federal Highway Administration:

“We continue to monitor the field performance of these end terminals and to our knowledge have not experienced any unsatisfactory performance.”

Guardrail Manufacturer Defrauds Federal Government

Trinity Industries was recently found guilty of defrauding the federal government. They failed to alert regulators to design changes made back in 2005. The design change, a size reduction of just a few inches, is said to be responsible for the product’s malfunctions.

Highway guardrail end terminals are designed to absorb the pressure of colliding vehicles by forcing the sides of the guardrail to fold backward and away from the oncoming cars. Instead, the ET-Plus has been known to spear through crashing cars and injure passengers. Some have even had limbs amputated by the sharp guardrail sides.

With Trinity ET-Plus guardrails in use in every state in the US, federal and state authorities are concerned about future accidents causing unnecessary injuries and deaths.

Seriously Injured in an Accident Involving a Guardrail?

Our Guardrail Injury Lawyers are currently investigating serious and fatal guardrail accidents related to this untested guardrail design. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident with a guardrail, contact our attorneys to discuss your legal options. We offer a free, no obligation, case evaluation – Get Help Now 877-544-5323

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