VDOT

Posts Tagged With ‘VDOT’

The Commonwealth of Virginia has become the first state to launch a lawsuit against dangerous guardrail maker Trinity Industries. The guardrail in question, the ET-Plus, is likely on thousands of Virginia roads and highways, though VDOT (Virginia Department of Transportation) admits they have not done a complete inventory of the product. VDOT has stopped installing the ET-Plus following the controversy over its safety issues.

The ET-Plus is designed to slow or stop cars involved in accidents from traveling further off the roadway. Ideally, they act like an accordion and crumple on impact. Sadly, the ET-Plus model has been known to pierce vehicles, spearing drivers and passengers inside. Some victims report amputated limbs, broken bones – some have even died in accidents involving the ET-Plus.

The safety device turned dangerous when federally unapproved changes were made to the design in 2005. By shortening a crucial metal piece on the guardrail from five inches to four, the function of the ET-Plus changed in a deadly way. Indeed, a Texas jury awarded the federal government and a whistleblower hundreds of millions of dollars after finding Trinity Industries had defrauded safety overseers. By not alerting regulators to the design changes, Trinity Industries risked the safety of millions of Americans.

Unfortunately, the future of the ET-Plus is not cut and dried. New safety tests have given the guardrail passing scores, approving the ET-Plus for installation across the country. Virginia’s lawsuit alleges that Trinity defrauded the Commonwealth by not revealing the design changes. The results of this case could mean the end of the dangerous ET-Plus on our roads.

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 final results of the Trinity Industries crash tests are in: all eight received passing scores from the Federal Highway Administration. The eight tests utilized guardrails of two different heights, one measuring 27 3/4 inches, one 31 inches.

Critics say the final of the eight tests should have been ruled a failure, as the guardrail severely dented the driver’s side door. Many believe that the Federal Highway Administration has given these test passing grades to cover for the poor job the government did in vetting the material. Some argue that by admitting the guardrails aren’t safe for the road, the administration would be admitting their failure to properly do their jobs. The agency says they will continue to investigate the ET-Plus, as more than 30 states currently have banned the guardrail from future installation.

ABC 13 News Now recently reported that Virginia has not received any application for approval from Trinity Industries to install any more of the ET-Plus guardrails on the Commonwealth’s roads. VDOT, the Virginia Department of Transportation, says more tests will be done to prove the reliability of the ET-Plus. They are also currently accepting bids from companies to remove the problematic guardrails from the roads.

Trinity Industries was fined for defrauding the government by failing to alert regulators to changes in the size of the ET-Plus. A small change in size has reportedly resulted in major product malfunctions, causing severe injuries and even fatalities among crash victims.

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

Plans to remove a potentially deadly highway safety devices from Virginia roads are underway. 13newsnow.com reports that the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) announced these plans via a letter from the state’s chief engineer. The decision comes following controversy associated with the ET-Plus guardrail and its potential malfunction. Accident victims across the country have noted the guardrails tendency to lock up and pierce the cabin of colliding vehicles rather than fold backward to stop the crash as designed.

It’s not known precisely how many ET-Plus guardrails are on roads round Virginia, which is part of what makes the removal process such a challenge. VDOT recently posted a bid requesting the identification and removal process of the ET-Plus guardrails, with all bids due by March. VDOT says, however, they will only award the bid should they indeed choose to move forward on the project.

These baby steps in the right direction may not seem like enough, but Virginia is one of the only states to even begin planning for the removal process. Most states are awaiting the results of a series of crash tests ordered by the federal government. Trinity Industries, the manufacturer of the ET-Plus, conducted these eight tests over the last few months. Only the results of the first four tests have been released thus far, with safety experts expressing concern over the eighth and final test. In that particular test, the driver’s side door was smashed in by the guardrail. Though no official ruling on the test has been made public yet, many speculate that it will receive a failing grade.

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

Documents acquired by 13newsnow.com reveal that the Virginia Department of Transportation knew about a potential safety device malfunction but waited over a year to act on the information. Trinity Industries whistleblower Joshua Harman approached VDOT in January 2013 with information about an unauthorized design change the company had made to its ET-Plus, a highway guardrail end terminal. It wasn’t until May 2014 that VDOT contacted Trinity Industries requesting crash test documentation and other information.

Though the company responded the following month, they did not include crash test information in their reply. Documents show that VDOT did not follow up with Trinity Industries until October of this year, following an ABC Investigates story about the unauthorized changes to the ET-Plus. VDOT again requested crash test documentation, and when they did not receive an adequate response, the removed the device from their list of approved products.

Since the ban, VDOT has promised to find and remove all ET-Plus devices from the Commonwealth’s roads. Experts say this is more difficult than it sounds, since the department does not keep track of how many of the guardrail end terminals are installed or where they are located throughout the state. It is estimated that 96% of all guardrail heads on Virginia’s roads and highways are indeed Trinity designed.

Still, no real action has been taken to move forward in removing these from our 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

An investigation conducted by 13News Now reports that Virginia’s Department of Transportation learned of potential safety issues involving a highway guardrail years ago. Only in the last few months, however, has the department done anything about the device.

The 13newsnow.com report shows that VDOT contractors noticed a change in the ET-Plus guardrail end terminal’s design as far back as 2005. Because the device was still listed on the department’s approved product list, the ET-Plus continued to be installed until just this year. It was taken off the list of approved devices this October.

The small change in the device’s design is likely linked to the product’s malfunction, experts have said. The change, consisting of a small two inch reduction in the size of a metal piece of the guardrail head, is said to have saved the manufacturer two dollars per model.

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