Massachusetts Guardrail Deaths Signal Possible Malfunction

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The Lindsay X-Lite guardrail end terminals are the subject of yet another lawsuit. The safety device has drawn criticism after several deadly accidents, many of which have occurred in Massachusetts. The state is home to the second most X-Lite guardrails in the country, with only West Virginia outnumbering them. Though officials have no plans to remove any from Massachusetts roads, they do plan to stop installing them this fall.

Many accidents involving the X-Lite have resulted in death or amputation because of the way the device sometimes malfunctions. Designed to collapse under the weight of colliding vehicles, the X-Lite should accordion backward when struck. Instead, the device has been known to slice through oncoming cars, scissoring through metal, glass and eventually even the passengers inside the vehicle. Many times, the injuries sustained in the accident because of the X-Lite are worse than had the guardrail not been there at all. Of course, when functioning correctly, these guardrails can be lifesavers. But it shouldn’t be such a roll of the die, families of victims say.

For many bereaved family members, accepting Lindsay Transportation Solution’s explanation that these accidents simply happen sometimes isn’t possible. They argue that these guardrails should not be on our roads if they can malfunction so horrifically.

Last month, the Federal Highway Administration announced that a review of the safety data revealed the device was safe. There is no federal recommendation to remove the guardrail end terminals, but several states including Tennessee are moving forward with the removal process.

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