You’ve probably seen guardrails all over interstates, highways, and surface roadways. The guardrail is, first and foremost, a safety barrier meant to protect a vehicle that has left the roadway. Officials estimate that cable guardrails can save up to 13 lives and prevent up to 51 serious injuries each year. When a guardrail is used, state studies show that there has been a 60-100% reduction in fatal crossover accidents. When it comes to rural areas, barriers that were installed on four-lane freeways resulted in a 97% reduction of cross-median crashes.
However, some guardrails have been linked to car crashes and fatalities in Florida and are being removed, as Action News Jax reports. The Florida Department of Transportation is planning to remove hundreds of X-Lite guardrails from Florida roadways. The FDOT will be replacing about 146 X-Lite guardrails across the state, including four in Duval County. This will reportedly cost about $730,000. The Tennessee Department of Transportation has removed X-Lite guardrails from its roadways as well.
Three years ago, Steve Eimers received a call telling him that his 17-year-old daughter Hannah had been killed in a crash. She hit an X-Lite guardrail in Tennessee. Instead of collapsing on itself, the guardrail acted as a spear and penetrated the driver’s door. The guardrail hit Hannah in the chest, killing her.
The company that makes X-Lite guardrails, Lindsay Corp, defends the design of its guardrails.