January 19, 2015 — Two senators have raised concern that safety tests of the ET-Plus guardrail do not meet current standards and will ignore vulnerability at certain impact-angles, according to the New York Times.
In a letter to Gregory G. Nadeau, the acting administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Charles Schumer (D-NY) wrote:
“We find it difficult to maintain confidence that your agency is taking proper action to ensure that the device meets the highest safety standards.”
Senator Blumenthal said the testing criteria is “far too deferential to Trinity.” For example, it allows Trinity to use an old set of testing standards that have since been updated in 2011 with stricter requirements. He warned that the older standards “will ignore” a potential vulnerability in impacts at angles of four to six degrees.
Trinity said it would be unfair to impose newer standards on a guardrail that was designed for older standards.
Six tests have been conducted so far, with the FHA calling them “unremarkable.” The tests were completed in San Antonio by Southwest Research Institute. Although the company has no financial interest in the ET-Plus, they are a former business partner of Trinity and had a royalty agreement until April 2007.
Several other concerns have also been raised about the tests, including:
- All of the crash tests involve new guardrails purchased from California, with wider exit-gaps than thousands of guardrails installed between 2005-2012.
- Only two members of the media were allowed to observe the tests, but they were not allowed to take pictures or videotape.
- State officials have also been banned from photographing, videotaping, or measuring the guardrails being tested.
Do I have a Guardrail Injury Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Trinity ET-Plus guardrail induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured in a head-on crash with the end of a guardrail, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Accident & Personal Injury Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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