A study linking dozens of highway crashes to a guardrail system manufactured by Dallas-based Trinity Industries was recently found to have serious flaws by a team of engineering professors without ties to the guardrail industry. The reviewers were called in after at least 42 states banned installation of Trinity ET-Plus guardrails, which the study deemed to be 4 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than predecessor models.
Free Guardrail Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been injured in a guardrail accident, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer of the guardrail and we can help.
What’s the Problem?
The independent review, which was made public Jan. 9, questions the validity of the Trinity guardrail safety study, faulting its methods and conclusions, which the reviewers called “inappropriate” and “questionable.”
The review comes as lawmakers urged the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to conduct more stringent safety testing on Trinity’s guardrails. About 200,000 ET-Plus systems have been installed in the U.S., according to the FHWA.
In Dec. 2014, FHWA made a public call for information on accidents involving Trinity guardrail systems, which have been linked to dozens of injuries and at least 8 deaths. Lawsuits allege that the ET-Plus can lock up on impact, impaling vehicles and their occupants instead of ribboning out and absorbing the energy of the crash as designed.
The review included 4 separate reports written by engineering professors, according to the FHWA. All 4 reviewers found that the study failed to take into consideration key variables that could affect the crashworthiness of Trinity’s guardrails, including traffic volume, speed limit and road conditions. The professors also questioned the study’s methodology, which only included accidents resulting in severe injury or death.
“We wanted to have a full understanding of the conclusions that it came to,” said Tony Furst, associate administrator for safety at the FHWA. “We are walking through this, pulling information as we get it and evaluating the information that we have to determine next steps.”
FHWA commissioned the new review from the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center. Both agencies are part of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
Do I Have a Highway Guardrail Lawsuit?
The Product Liability Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Highway Guardrail Lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new guardrail injury and death cases in all 50 states.
Free Highway Guardrail Lawsuit Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one has been injured in a guardrail accident, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Guardrail Suit and we can help.