Houston Personal Injury Blog
Federal Highway Administration Defends Evaluation of ET-Plus Guardrail Risks

17 Mar. 2015

Federal Highway Administration Defends Evaluation of ET-Plus Guardrail Risks

Posted By Fibich, Leebron, Copeland, Briggs & Josephson

Over the past several days, officials from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) - the agency tasked with investigating claims regarding the potential dangers of ET-Plus guardrails - have been zealously defending their investigation and analysis methods. The FHWA has been on the defense since being criticized for recently giving the controversial ET-Plus guardrail system a passing grade, despite evidence that vehicles experienced severe damages in crash tests.

At the center of the debate are ET-Plus guardrails, a guardrail system made by Dallas-based Trinity Industries. ET-Plus guardrails have been allegedly linked to multiple injury-causing and fatal collisions involving a suspected design change that may be more dangerous.

Here are some key points about the issue:

  • The FHWA issued a statement on Friday that damages caused by ET-Plus guardrails were not likely to cause serious injuries, and that the guardrail deserved to pass.
  • Following the statement, lawyers in a current whistleblower lawsuit against Trinity Industries are claiming that the FHWA analyzed results of guardrail crash tests using incorrect guidelines for vehicle damage.
  • Under 2003 guidelines, the threshold for damage to occupant compartments (to be considered unsafe) was six inches. The FHWA test found that the driver’s door was pushed into the passenger compartment by 6.75 inches.

The debate over the FHWA’s methods for analyzing crash tests involving ET-Plus Guardrails is part of the larger issue of whether or not ET-Plus Guardrails are causing preventable harm to victims in auto accidents. After multiple reported incidents and a whistleblower case being filed against Trinity Industries, victims and families are stepping forward to accuse the company of producing a defective product.

At Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs, our legal team is currently reviewing cases from individuals who have been injured in auto accidents involving ET-Plus guardrails - and families who have lost loved ones in fatal incidents. If you have questions about your case, your rights, and how our firm can help, contact us today for a FREE consultation.

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