When you are facing a split-second decision whether to run off the road or to crash head-on into a guardrail, which should you choose? You would think that the choice would be to head into the guardrail, since guardrails are placed alongside roads where there is no off-road recovery area. You might be faced with a steep slope, trees or utility poles, or even driving off a bridge!
However, all guardrails may not be a reliable as you think. In 2005 Trinity Industries, the manufacturer of much of the nation's highway safety equipment, secretly made a change to the design of its ET Plus design. They reduced the width of one of the parts of the rail head, or end terminal, from 5" to 4". They were probably reducing costs, although the 1" reduction saved only $2.00/part.
The part, a guide channel, is hidden behind the yellow-and-black striped flat panel that you see as you approach the guardrail.
If you have to hit the end of the guardrail, you are supposed to be slowed down by the guardrail folding up as one section slides into another. If the guardrail malfunctions, the guardrail pierces your vehicle, impaling you and your passengers.
The 2005 "improvement" of reducing the guide channel from 5" to 4' has greatly increased the number of fatalities and serious injuries caused by this horrific situation. Some states have banned the use of this product.
When you have sustained a serious injury or a family member has been killed by a defective guardrail, you need an experienced