Highway

Posts Tagged With ‘Highway’

A highway safety mechanism at the height of much controversy has been found along roads and highways throughout South Carolina’s Florence County. According to WBTW, investigators found dozens of the ET-Plus guardrail end terminals along the county streets. The ET-Plus has been known to malfunction, sending accident victims to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. It is currently under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with the model undergoing crash testing to determine whether it is indeed safe enough for use.

When the ET-Plus guardrail is struck by a vehicle, the end terminal is supposed to push sharp guardrail edges backwards like an accordion. This ensures a safer landing for the passengers inside the crashing vehicle. Instead, the ET-Plus has been known to pierce oncoming vehicles, slicing through and injuring passengers. Some have lost limbs, others have lost lives. What’s most troublesome is that hundreds of thousands of these guardrails remain on roads throughout the country. Most states say they will await the results of the investigation before ordering the installation of a safer guardrail end terminal.

The manufacturers of the ET-Plus, Trinity Industries, insist that the guardrail works as designed. They stand by their product, in spite of reports that they cut corners on the ET-Plus’ design to save costs. The reduction in size of a crucial metal piece is likely the culprit behind the malfunction, experts say. Crash testing will continue this month, with the NHTSA expected to make a final call regarding the alleged malfunction after the testing is completed.

 

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

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is awaiting results from federally mandated crash test results of the ET-Plus guardrail. The guardrail model has made headlines recently for its alleged defectiveness. Kentucky is one of thirty states to temporarily ban its installation.

The ET-Plus guardrail was the subject of a lawsuit brought against its manufacturer, Dallas-based Trinity Highway Products. Trinity was found guilty of defrauding the government by reducing the size of the guardrail head without conducting the proper testing. This untested model was installed and used for over two and a half years. Further government tests are pending.

The issue with the guardrail is in its head. Normally, a guardrail will crumple to absorb the impact of a colliding vehicle. In the case of the ET-Plus, the guardrail fails to do this and can therefore impale the vehicle, causing injury or death to its occupants.

Maysville, Kentucky’s Ledger Independent reports that the Kentucky Transportation is awaiting the test results before removing the guardrails. Their removal, says a KTC Spokesman, is a potential logistical and financial problem. Guardrail models can be very similar, so much so that even Trinity’s own ET-2000 – a model without any reported problems – is often indistinguishable. The KTC expressed intent to inventory the guardrails as a result of the court case, but removal could take several million dollars and significant amounts of time.

Compounding the problem is that KTC does not buy the guardrails directly, instead working through contractors who bid with the Cabinet. Contractors may also be required for their removal, given the project’s scope.

In the meantime, no new ET-Plus guardrails are being installed in the state.

Do You Need A Guardrail Lawyer? – Get Help Now

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, Free Case Evaluation 877-544-5323

Two years ago, a man from Lake County, Florida, swerved to avoid hitting an animal in the road. The split second decision sent his pickup truck careening into a guardrail.

It also cost his passenger a leg.

WTFTV 9 reports that the rail malfunctioned and impaled the pickup truck, slicing the passenger’s leg down to the bone. Injuries were so severe that the leg had to be amputated, and the man is still struggling to recover.

Highway guardrails are designed to crumple in the event of an impact. When a vehicle hits, the structure crumples to absorb the force of the blow. In this case, the guardrail instead remained stiff and pierced the vehicle. Following the case, the man’s lawyer found that this may be a problem across the state. The Florida Department of Transportation has apparently been using inmates to repair the guardrails.

There are two problems with the guardrails: first, incorrect parts were used to replace them. Second, workers installed the parts incorrectly. To make matters worse, the guardrail was reinstalled improperly again after the accident.

Though not named in this case, 14 other guardrail-related deaths around the country have been linked to guardrails from Trinity Highway Products. These guardrails malfunction in a similar fashion due to an unapproved design change, shrinking the metal at the end from five inches to four.

The guardrail model in question – the ET-Plus – was recently approved for retesting.

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

New details surrounding plans to test the safety of a controversial highway guardrail have been released today. ABCnews.com reports that Southwest Institute, an independent research institute, will conduct a series of eight crash tests. If any of the ET-Plus guardrails fail the test, the Federal Highway Administration say they will deem the product ineligible for installation on roads across the country.

The ET-Plus model of guardrail has been the subject of much scrutiny in the past few weeks following a court case involving the guardrail’s manufacturer, Trinity Industries. The company was found guilty of defrauding the federal government after failing to report design changes made to the product. The changes, made back in 2005 but only recently revealed, are said to be responsible for the malfunctioning of the product. Internal emails have revealed the design changes were made to save the company money.

The eight crash tests will help to decide if the ET-Plus does in fact malfunction. Accidents involving the guardrails have sometimes resulted in injuries, amputations and even fatalities. When functioning properly, the guardrail end terminal should force the sides of the guardrail back and away from the oncoming vehicle. Instead, accident reports have shown that the guardrail head has often pierced right through the cabin of crashing cars, injuring passengers inside.

The crash tests will be make or break for Trinity Industries, as more than thirty states have already pulled the guardrail model from their lists of approved products. If the ET-Plus is shown to indeed be malfunctioning, thousands of guardrails on our nation’s roads will need removed.

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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