Highway guardrails are an important safety feature on New York expressways, but few people know that they sometimes cause more bloodshed than they prevent.
The biggest guardrail manufacturer in the world, Trinity Highway Products, is currently facing dozens of lawsuits for traffic deaths or injuries allegedly caused by its ET-Plus guardrail.
A recent study from the Safety Institute found that ET-Plus guardrails are three times more likely to cause a fatality than other rails. Last year, Trinity began manufacturing a smaller version of its ET-Plus rails to maximize profits. That modification made the guardrail more dangerous to motorists, according to industry experts.
How do guardrails cause harm?
The most prominent complaint about ET-Plus guardrails is that the rail reacts incorrectly when it is hit by a vehicle. Instead of the rail “grabbing” the vehicle and slowing it down, the rails sometimes cut into the car. This rigid rail exposes the occupants to deadly amputation and laceration injuries.
Another common guardrail malfunction occurs when the rail buckles and flips the vehicle into the air, the very type of accident it is supposed to prevent.
If you or someone close to you has been seriously hurt or killed in a guardrail accident, it is important for you to have an experienced lawyer help you investigate.
Government officials made the decision to use ET-Plus guardrails, so they may ignore or downplay the rails’ contributions to the crash. With hundreds of thousands of ET-Plus guardrails installed throughout the U.S., the prospect of removing the defective rails presents a logistical nightmare.
Source: ABC7 News, “I-Team: New Study Confirms Deadly Guardrail Dangers,” Dan Noyes, Sept. 19, 2014