How are unsafe road conditions discovered? Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a pattern of fatal auto accidents.
The death of a Western New York teen in Tennessee raised questions for her parents. What they discovered was that the X-Lite guardrail involved in the accident was dangerous. Instead of guiding a vehicle back onto the road, these guardrails could shatter and puncture through the vehicle like a spear.
Not the first case
The parents began investigating. They connected their daughter’s accident to another tragic accident in Tennessee. Then they heard of others and found at least 20 other people across the country who had died in accidents that involved the same type of guardrail.
The father started a nationwide effort to replace the dangerous rails.
No longer on New York roadways
A State Senator proposed legislation that passed the Senate in New York, but failed to reach the Governor’s desk. However, this father’s efforts still paid off when the New York State Department of Transportation decided to stop using these rails on state roads. The state agency went further and identified each of the guardrails currently in use. There were 43 throughout the state.
The NYSDOT has since removed 16 and will remove the rest by the end of the year. Seven other states have taken action to remove these guardrails from their roads as well.
End unit guardrail safety
This is not the only issue with guardrails. In California, failure of the ET-Plus end unit guardrail system has been blamed on a number of fatalities. Many have called for heightened federal oversight or faster reaction times have from various state DOTs.
It should not take fatal crashes on our roadways to prompt change. When defective roadway safety systems or roadway design failures cause these serious accidents, there are remedies available.
If a loved one died in a fatal accident that doesn’t seem like it should have occurred or been so serious, ask questions. Speaking with an attorney at Weisfuse & Weisfuse can be one of the first steps to find out if there is fault and obtain compensation for your loss.