The deadly ET-Plus guardrail system, known for jamming and piercing through vehicles, will undergo yet another round of testing, this time conducted by the state of Virginia. Langdon & Emison, a nationwide personal injury firm, represents clients nationwide in cases involving the ET-Plus.
A series of eight crash tests, overseen by the federal government, began in December after a federal jury found Trinity Highway Products, the manufacturer of the ET-Plus, liable for defrauding the Federal Highway Administration by not disclosing design changes it made in 2005.
In March, the federal government announced that the ET-Plus had passed all eight crash tests, but Virginia officials have deemed the tests inadequate, according to a report by The New York Times. State officials are proposing an additional six tests set to begin this month, the Times reported.
“The new tests will include having vehicles hit Trinity’s ET-Plus guardrails at slight angles – said to be representative of many car accidents and generally recommended under newer federal safety standards,” wrote The Times.
Lawmakers had criticized the previous crash tests for not requiring lower-angle testing to address the system’s known defects and to determine whether the ET-Plus is safe. In most accidents, the striking vehicles have struck the ET-Plus from shallow angles, yet one of the initial tests involved crashing a pickup into an ET-Plus at a 15-degree angle.
“Conducting a test in which the vehicle strikes the ET-Plus at 5 degrees is the optimal angle for determining the worst possible result from a crash,” said Langdon & Emison attorney Adam Graves. “At 15 degrees, the striking vehicle typically does not fully engage with the end terminal and instead races past the guardrail on impact, which doesn’t test the system’s actual performance.”
Virginia was one of the first states to suspend further use of the ET-Plus and has been considering removing the guardrail system for more than a year.
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Langdon & Emison represents families in a number of cases involving defective Trinity guardrails and is reviewing a number of potential cases. For a free case evaluation or to work with us, contact our firm at 1-866-931-2115 or click here.