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