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