December 21, 2015 — Virginia has completed a series of crash-tests involving the Trinity ET-Plus and announced that they will replace thousands of guardrail that do not meet safety standards.
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) said the ET-Plus passed four crash-tests involving head-on collisions, but the outcome of two “shallow angle” crash-tests raised concerns, according to the Associated Press.
In one of the shallow-angle tests, a truck overturned after hitting the guardrail. The department’s chief engineer, Garrett Moore, said the guardrail performance “could have serious consequences” for passengers inside a vehicle.
VDOT says there are about 11,000 Trinity ET-Plus guardrails installed on roadways. The state banned new installations of the guardrail last year.
Beginning no later than fall 2016, the state will begin removing and replacing guardrail end-terminals that do not meet updated safety standards. Virginia will prioritize removing guardrails located where severe crashes are more likely, according to New York Times.
The ET-Plus end-terminal is a safety feature designed to absorb the impact of an oncoming car. The ET-Plus is a scaled-down version of the ET-2000, and critics say Trinity scaled it down even further sometime in 2005.
The problem is that Trinity did not conduct new crash tests or tell highway officials. The design changes saved Trinity money on materials, but may have also made the guardrail more likely to jam up in head-on crashes, turning the guardrail into a spear that impales oncoming cars instead of deflecting harmlessly away.
Do I have a Guardrail Injury Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Trinity ET-Plus induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by a defective guardrail, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Product Liability Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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