In our last blog post, we covered the different kinds of designs used for guardrail endings, and how faults and defects can make each one dangerous. However, because roadside safety is a big business, with huge government contracts for guardrail design, installation, and maintenance, the competition to keep profits up and costs down have led corporations to manipulate the game.
Unfortunately, those manipulations are now costing innocent drivers their lives.
Faulty Guardrail Designs Behind Fatal Car Accidents
Six car accidents, which have led to seven deaths, have been tied to an X-LITE model guardrail end that was designed by the company Lindsay Transportation Solutions. The most recent crash killed 59-year-old George Jansen in Saline County, Missouri. The design is supposed to absorb an impact into the end of a guardrail by using several segments that fit into each other, like a pirate’s spyglass. However, the design was defective, and failed to absorb any of the impact from Mr. Jansen’s vehicle. Instead, the car was impaled on the guardrail, turning a minor accident into a fatal one.
Guardrail Design Passed Corrupt Testing Procedure
The Lindsay Transportation Solutions guardrail model that has been involved in each of these accidents had been accepted as adequately safe by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). However, the crash tests that the FHWA cited in its decision were conducted by another company, Safe Technologies, Inc., which was, itself, owned by Lindsay Transportation Solutions. Despite being a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lindsay Transportation Solutions, Safe Technologies has been fully accredited by the FHWA to do safety testing, even for its parent company’s products.
Worse, the FHWA doesn’t have a process to verify the results of these tests. This leaves the companies with a free rein to skew the results of their own tests in their favor. Roadside safety companies like Lindsay Transportation Solutions have capitalized on their corrupt process in a big way – crash tests are done at one of the nine certified labs in the U.S., but six of those labs test products made by their own parent corporations.
The results have been horrifying. An investigation by the federal Government Accountability Office found that, in numerous cases, several of the seven crash tests that these labs were supposed to do on guardrails were simply skipped. When they were done, the findings did not always include the reasons why the test was passed, serving simply as a stamp of approval.
St. Joseph Car Accident Attorneys at the Smith Law Office
Missouri is one of the states that uses Lindsay Transportation Solutions’ X-LITE guardrail ending design on some of its highways. This means that innocent drivers in St. Joseph, Kansas City, and Springfield are at risk of serious or fatal personal injuries if they hit the ending of a guardrail in a car crash.
If this ever happens to you or someone you love, you need the help of the personal injury attorneys at the Smith Law Office. By being your legal representative both in and out of court, we can ensure you get the compensation that you need from the people who were ultimately responsible for your injuries.
Contact us online or call our law office at (816) 875-9373.