The state of Tennessee has begun a roads project to remove and replace 1,700 guardrail ends that are allegedly defective. The product in question is the Lindsay X-LITE guardrail end. Guardrails are generally designed in multiple pieces that telescope into each other upon impact. This is to prevent the metal ends from piercing the vehicle that hits the guardrail in the event of a crash.
The standard crash test for guardrails uses a crash speed of 62.2 mph, but officials in Tennessee found that at speeds higher than 62.2, the X-LITE failed to perform as expected. Instead, the guardrails impaled the vehicles, fatally injuring the occupants. At least seven people have died in six motor vehicle crashes involving X-LITE guardrails in three states. In other non-fatal crashes in Tennessee, the guardrails failed to telescope, but did not pierce the vehicles.
According to a letter that the Tennessee commissioner of the highway department sent to the administrator of the state Federal Highway Administration, there were also concerns that the installation instructions for the guardrails regarding bolt torque were not specific enough. Installation deficiencies could result in the terminal performing differently from the original tested conditions.
The alleged Lindsay product defect came to light when the state of Tennessee mistakenly sent a 17-year-old victim of a fatal crash a bill for almost $3,000 to replace the X-LITE that killed her. In less than one year, the state has had three instances of crashes with guardrails in which four people died.
Lindsay Corporation officials point to the fact that the X-LITE guardrail is approved by the Federal Highway Administration and has passed crash and safety tests. In Missouri, the state Department of Transportation stopped installing the X-LITE in July, but has not yet taken action to replace them. At least two people have died in Missouri in crashes with X-LITE model guardrail ends. In one of the crashes, the vehicle was impaled with the guardrail.
Families of the four people who died in Tennessee have appealed to the President and other federal leaders to rescind the letter that declares the Lindsay guardrail ends fit for use. Six days before the crash that killed the 17- year-old girl, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) pulled the product from the state’s list of approved equipment. Officials expressed concerns about the guardrail end terminal’s performance.
TDOT has already started the bidding process to remove and replace the X-LITE guardrail ends. The project is focused on Tennessee roads with a speed limit of 45 mph and above. TDOT estimates that the contract is worth upwards of $3.6 million.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Represent Victims Injured in Car Accidents Involving Defective Guardrails
Injuries from car accidents can have a lifelong impact. If you or someone you love has suffered a serious injury in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC will fight to obtain the most favorable outcome possible for your case. Call 215-569-8488 to schedule a free consultation or contact us online. We have offices in Philadelphia, Media, and Abington, Pennsylvania, as well as Haddonfield, New Jersey, and Wilmington, Delaware to serve you.