Virginia Department of Transportation

Posts Tagged With ‘Virginia Department of Transportation’

The ET-Plus guardrail system has reportedly failed the independent crash tests requested by the Virginia Department of Transportation, WJHL.com reports. Though the official results have not been released, documents filed with the Virginia Attorney General’s office indicate that a test involving the ET-Plus guardrail and a pickup truck “failed miserably.” While we await official word from VDOT, this news is not good for Virginia drivers who rely upon the guardrails to keep them safe on Commonwealth roads and highways.

Trinity Industries Guilty of Defrauding the Federal Government

The ET-Plus guardrail, manufactured by Texas-based Trinity Industries, has come under fire in recent years. Last fall, the company was found guilty of defrauding the federal government by failing to alert regulators to changes in the device’s design. This small change made the ET-Plus cheaper to manufacture, experts say, but also dramatically decreased the effectiveness of the guardrail. Instead of curling back under the pressure of a colliding vehicle, the ET-Plus has been known to pierce cars and injure – even fatally so – passengers and drivers inside.

Photos of this most recent crash test show a pickup truck that flipped and landed on the guardrail after the head-on crash. Though it’s supposed to be a safety device, the ET-Plus may do more harm than good. It will likely take VDOT hundreds of hours and millions of dollars to remove these guardrails from our roads, which is why the agency has filed suit against Trinity Industries. This crash test is just the latest piece in the growing case against the guardrail manufacturer.

Seriously Injured in an Accident Involving a Guardrail?

Our Guardrail Injury Lawyers are currently investigating serious and fatal guardrail accidents. 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 crash testing of the controversial ET-Plus guardrail has begun in California. The tests, conducted by a neutral third party testing facility called KARCO, will help determine the fate of the ET-Plus on Commonwealth roads and highways. But officials from Trinity Industries – the company behind the guardrail in question – walked out of the first day of testing after calling the crash tests “clearly flawed.”

The tests were ordered by the Virginia Department of Transportation in spite of the federal tests conducted earlier this year that show the ET-Plus passing. Many critics were skeptical of one of the eight federal tests, claiming that it should ultimately have been ruled a failure. Critics also worry that an older model of the ET-Plus was used for the federal tests, not the controversial model with design changes.

Though VDOT has allowed news cameras to film the tests, Trinity has accused them of being not being transparent enough. KARCO allowed Trinity two hours to inspect the test setup, and even granted them an additional hour to go over the procedures. The first test has been completed, but VDOT will not be commenting about the results until all testing is complete in early October.

Ultimately, VDOT representatives told ABCNews, these tests are designed with the safety of Virginian motorists safe. Trinity Industries may reject the results and even challenge the science behind the tests, but whatever the outcome, state officials will be more knowledgeable about the ET-Plus and the way it functions on our roads.

Guardrail Injury Lawyer

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

The Virginia Department of Transportation has announced a new round of crash testing will begin this week. The tests will help to determine if Trinity Industries’ ET-Plus guardrail is safe enough to remain on Commonwealth roads. The guardrail design in question has been the focus of much controversy following many deadly device malfunctions across the country. Though the guardrail passed the Federal Highway Administration’s crash tests last December, VDOT hopes another round of rigorous testing will help determine just how safe – or unsafe – the device actually is.

VDOT has not responded to news station requests nor Trinity Industries for more information about the forthcoming tests, but insiders report that the series of six tests will be conducted by a California company beginning September 17. Tests of low-end guardrail have failed in many other scenarios, so VDOT will focus their attention to those kinds of crashes.

The results of these tests will play a large role in the current lawsuit Virginia’s Attorney General has filed against Trinity Industries. States across the country will also look to the test results to help determine the fate of the guardrails on their own roads. Nearly every state in the nation has banned the future installation of the ET-Plus, but thousands remain on roads and highways across the country.

The ET-Plus has been known to pierce vehicles rather than peel away during a collision. The sharp metal of the guardrail slices through cars, injuring and even killing passengers. Experts say the design of the device was altered to lower manufacturing costs, but the changes made the guardrails less effective and more dangerous.

Guardrail Injury Lawyer

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

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

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