Controversial guardrail system passes most Virginia crash tests - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Controversial guardrail system passes most Virginia crash tests

Guardrails (Source: NBC12) Guardrails (Source: NBC12)
(WWBT) -

A controversial highway guardrail system being blamed for devastating injuries around the country, passed most of the crash tests paid for by Virginia. The Commonwealth is suing the makers of the guardrails for changing the design of the system without warning the state.

The state will soon begin replacing the devices on roadways where crashes could be more severe. The state says that’s most likely roads with speed limits of 55 or higher.

VDOT's chief engineer is concerned about one of the non-standard tests designed to show what happens when the device is hit at an angle. In that crash, the test truck overturned. He says that shows a vulnerability in the system.

VDOT decided to do the testing because of issues with modified Trinity E-T Plus guardrail end terminals.

In a crash, end terminals are supposed to push the guardrail away from the vehicle. However, in some crashes around the country, including five crashes in Virginia involving the E-T Plus, the guardrails penetrated the vehicle. 

Virginia says it also has documented two other crashes involving products not designed by Trinity where the guardrail also penetrated a vehicle.

The state says it will begin testing other models of the devices and will start replacing older model guardrails end terminals entirely.

Trinity has called the state's test "questionable and unreliable" and has accused Virginia of conducting them merely to support its lawsuit against the company.

The company issued a statement:

'Trinity Highway Products’ (THP) ET Plus System has been thoroughly reviewed by federal and state highway officials and multiple independent experts.  Since its introduction, the ET Plus System has met NCHRP 350 standards, has been accepted by the FHWA for use on the nation’s highways, and has an unbroken chain of eligibility for federal aid reimbursement.  The ET Plus System is the most successfully crash tested product of its kind.  Today, VDOT confirmed that the ET Plus System meets NCHRP 350 standards.

On September 11, 2015, a  FHWA and AASHTO Joint Task Force concluded that all NCHRP 350  end terminals have real-world performance limitations, none of which are unique to the ET Plus System. THP  supports VDOT’s decision announced today to crash test the current  version of ALL guardrail end terminal products using its non-standard criteria.

Copyright 2015 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

Report an Error or Submit a Tip to NBC12

  • NBC12 InvestigatesMore>>

  • Fund your future first over your child's college

    Fund your future first over your child's college

    Monday, March 26 2018 5:41 PM EDT2018-03-26 21:41:08 GMT
    (Source: file photo)(Source: file photo)
    (Source: file photo)(Source: file photo)

    If you have kids, chances are you're either saving for their college - or worrying about the fact that you aren't. Before that, you should be saving money for someone else - yourself.

    More >>

    If you have kids, chances are you're either saving for their college - or worrying about the fact that you aren't. Before that, you should be saving money for someone else - yourself.

    More >>
  • Homebuyers losing millions of dollars to frightening scam

    Homebuyers losing millions of dollars to frightening scam

    Monday, March 19 2018 4:45 PM EDT2018-03-19 20:45:30 GMT
    (Source: File photo)(Source: File photo)
    Residents can chime in on Henrico's $1.3 billion plan. (Source: File photo)Residents can chime in on Henrico's $1.3 billion plan. (Source: File photo)

    Buyers are losing tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars to con artists in a scam that's hitting victims across the country.

    More >>

    Buyers are losing tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars to con artists in a scam that's hitting victims across the country.

    More >>
  • How to stop getting spam calls on your smartphone

    How to stop getting spam calls on your smartphone

    Thursday, March 8 2018 4:45 PM EST2018-03-08 21:45:38 GMT
    Source: PixabaySource: Pixabay
    Source: PixabaySource: Pixabay

    Major carriers are stepping up and offering protection plans against spam, scam and robocalls coming through on your smart phone, but how effective are these plans, and are they even worth it?

    More >>

    Major carriers are stepping up and offering protection plans against spam, scam and robocalls coming through on your smart phone, but how effective are these plans, and are they even worth it?

    More >>
Powered by Frankly