Hundreds of Defective Guardrails to be RemovedAugust 7, 2018
Guardrail safety barriers are meant to protect motorists who have veered off the road. While factors like the size of the vehicle and the speed at which the car was traveling can make an accident unavoidable, guardrails are intended to protect drivers and reduce the severity of a crash.
The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (SHA) announced that it will be replacing approximately 900 X-LITE guardrails after several motorists died, and others were seriously injured, after the guardrail end speared their vehicle upon impact.
Two of the tragic fatalities include a 17-year-old girl, who was killed instantly in 2016 after she hit the guardrail and it pierced through her vehicle; and an 18-year-old Marine, who was on his way to work at the Marine Corps recruiting office, when he crashed into an X-LITE guardrail.
According to Marine’s accident report, he was driving 64 mph in a 55mph zone. He was wearing a seatbelt and had no drugs or alcohol in his system. After drifting out of his lane, he was alerted by the rumble strips, and overcorrected his vehicle. He struck the guardrail traveling at approximately 42 mph, which caused the guardrail end to pierce the vehicle, causing fatal injuries.
The victims’ parents joined forces to fight for a national recall of all X-LITE guardrails. The Maryland SHA said that the new guardrails will need to meet the stricter crash test standards, also known as MASH standards, which refers to the Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware. Other states are also pursuing plans to replace the X-LITE guardrails, including Virginia and Texas.
Controversy Surrounding Removal of X-LITE Guardrails
According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), there was insufficient evidence that the X-LITE guardrails performed differently than others. In addition, a spokesperson from Lindsay Transportation Solutions, then X-LITE manufacturer, commented that legislators are spreading fear about a road safety product that has helped prevent serious accidents.
Yet, instead of preventing, or lessening the severity of a crash, the X-LITE guardrail end treatments separated from the guardrails and pierced the vehicle cabins. According to state officials, they found the installation instructions for the X-LITE end terminals to be unclear, and that certain installation deficiencies could cause them to perform differently on the roads than they did in the original testing conditions.
Unfortunately, the guardrails have factored into seven deaths after the occupants were fatally impaled upon impact.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Compensation for Victims Injured in Guardrail Accidents
If you or someone you know has been seriously injured in a car accident involving a defective guardrail, it is in your best interest to contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. Car accidents can be extremely traumatic, especially when there are serious injuries. Our skilled and dedicated team will conduct a thorough investigation of your case and secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. We will not stop fighting for you until you are fully satisfied. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.