On Oct. 25, 2016, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) decided to quit using the Lindsay X-LITE model of guardrail end. Around the first of 2017, the TDOT also decided to hire someone to remove the ends of that model of guardrail wherever the speed limit was more than 45 mph. The bidding process for the award of the removal job was supposed to begin on March 31. Most of those specific guardrail ends will be removed during the replacement process.
The TDOT reviewed crash data to come to the conclusion that the guardrail ends needed replacing. At least four individuals have been killed by that particular model when the guardrail impaled a crashing vehicle instead of buckling as it was supposed to do.
The father of a 17-year-old who was killed last year in such an accident received a bill from TDOT for almost $3,000 for the replacement cost of the guardrail end. That made national headlines and the man has retained an attorney for a lawsuit that he believes is upcoming.
The state began using that guardrail end about a year and a half ago. It is estimated that the X-LITE terminals account for about 3 to 4 percent of the guardrail terminals in the state.
Lindsay Transportation Solutions, the manufacturer of the guardrail, released a statement sending their condolences to the families affected by the latest accident. However, they also stated that while the guardrail terminal passed safety and crash tests in accordance with federal criteria and standards, no test can replicate every scenario that is possible.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a faulty guardrail or other piece of highway structure, a personal injury attorney can provide information on your legal options.
Source: Knoxville News Sentinel, "Same guardrail model involved in at least 4 Tennessee deaths," Travis Dorman, March 28, 2017