Tennessee will spend $4.3 million to remove dangerous X-Lite guardrails from their roads. The decision to remove and replace more than 1,800 guardrail end terminals comes on the heels of several fatal accidents involving the safety devices. Four people have died in such crashes in the last year in Tennessee. But it’s not just the Volunteer State that is having problems with the X-Lite guardrails – Virginia, too, is removing guardrail end terminals in counties across the Commonwealth.
The yellow and black striped end caps of guardrails are meant to prevent cars from being pierced by the sharp device. Unfortunately, though, the X-Lite hasn’t always performed as intended, sending accident victims to the hospital with serious, life-threatening injuries.
The decision to remove all the X-Lite guardrails throughout the state of Tennessee is unprecedented. Though fatal guardrail wrecks have occurred throughout the country, only Tennessee has gone forward with plans to remove these road hazards. We applaud their Department of Transportation for putting their citizen’s safety first. The price tag to install the guardrail end terminals was hefty to begin with – it cost about $3.6 million to purchase and install the devices. Now, the state will spend even more to remove and replace the X-Lite guardrail end terminals.
Though the product is approved for use by the Federal Highway Administration, more and more states are taking matters into their own hands to prevent fatal guardrail accidents. We can only hope that Tennessee leading by example will set a precedent for other states to follow.
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