The State of Virginia announced that it will remove Trinity guardrails from many stretches of highway because its own test results show the guardrails actually create a greater risk of harm to motorists.
These guardrails are designed to absorb the impact of the vehicle collision, and flatten out like a ribbon upon impact. However, the company changed the guardrail's design, and the Virginia test showed that instead of flattening on impact, the guardrail acts like a spear, impaling the impacting vehicle. Over forty other states have abandoned use of these guardrails after a Texas court found that the guardrail manufacture failed to report design changes.
Across the country, several personal injury and wrongful death claims have been filed against the company, alleging that the design caused death or injury. Experts estimate that there are over 200,000 of these guardrails on roadways across the country.
The manufacturer has taken a defensive posture, claiming that tests overseen by the Federal Government prove the guardrails are safe. It has also appealed the court decision finding that it failed to report guardrail design changes.
Oregon stopped using these guardrails last year, but it appears that many remain on Oregon highways. Check out this article that provides excellent background on the story.