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Are South Florida Guardrails Safe?

March 1, 2015
Colson Hicks Eidson

While guardrails often serve to protect motorists, if involved in a wreck, guardrails can prove to be just as harmful to automobiles and their occupants as they are helpful. Guardrails are especially dangerous for certain types of vehicles and specific kinds of accidents, namely those involving motorcycles, cars, light trucks and side-impact accidents.

In fact, on average, 46 percent of fatal vehicle-guardrail accidents involve car and light truck side-impact wrecks or motorcycle crashes, according to Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data. Recently, an investigation of South Florida area guardrails by WTVJ-TV raised the question of whether fatal vehicle-guardrail accidents are the result of unfortunate circumstances or defective guardrails.

As a result of an investigation it conducted recently, WTVJ-TV discovered that in 2005, Trinity Highway Products, one of the world’s biggest guardrail makers, changed its guardrail design to save money. Reportedly, the guardrail model that was changed, known as the ET-Plus, had its dimensions reduced at the end from 5 inches to 4 inches. According to a student from the University of Alabama, this change made it three times as likely to cause a fatality in a vehicle-guardrail collision when compared to the old version.

In addition to allegedly endangering motorists by making the cost-cutting changes to the ET-Plus, Trinity is reported to have failed to let the federal government know about the change, which the company was required to do. Currently, Trinity is facing lawsuits from over a dozen families who lost loved ones in vehicle-guardrail accidents involving the ET-Plus.

Should I Talk to a Lawyer Before I Accept the Insurance Company’s Offer? 

In the video below, injury lawyer Deborah J. Gander explains why it is so important to talk with an attorney before accepting an insurance company’s offer following an accident.

Colson Hicks Eidson – Injury Attorneys