A false-claims lawsuit is in progress after whistleblower claims state that the ET-Plus guardrail systems were modified before installation, causing an impalement hazard when vehicles strike the devices. Therefore, Arlington, along with other Texas municipalities, has suspended installation of the guardrail systems until a lawsuit is settled and further testing is conducted.
Trinity Industries, the Dallas-based manufacturers of the system, remain adamant that the system is approved for use by the Federal Highway Administration (FHA); although, it has ceased shipment of any new systems until new safety testing can be completed as per request of the FHA.
The ET-Plus guardrail system is found on the ends of at least 12 guardrails in locations along Arlington highways. According to Texas Department of Transportation, there are no plans to remove existing guardrail systems, as they’re still approved for use.
As previously reported, the ET-Plus systems have caused several known injuries in the past several years, resulting in multiple lawsuits against Trinity Industries. While it’s impossible for drivers to avoid striking a guardrail in most car accident cases, drivers can exercise more caution when traveling on highways with guardrails. Stay in the center lanes of the highway and avoid riding too close to the guardrails when on the far lanes.
Image courtesy nbcDFW