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Highway Guardrail Accidents

Highway guardrail accidents

Highway guardrails are an important safety feature on our roadways. When designed correctly, they help reduce the impact of car accidents. They:

  • give a layer of protection to cars that skid, slide or drift off onto the shoulder.
  • keep cars from crashing or running off down a steep embankment or drop-off.
  • Provide barriers to keep drivers from running into trees, bridge pilings, retaining walls, and other fixed objects.

While guardrails are meant to protect vehicles and their passengers, and lessen the severity of a crash, there are circumstances when they do not.


Causes of Highway Guardrail Accidents

Poorly designed guardrails.

Guardrails are intended to telescope when impacted. This helps to slow a car down and absorb some of the impact. However, when there are design flaws or manufacturing defects, guardrails may not perform the way they were intended. For instance, the guardrails may not telescope and instead may impale the vehicle.

Poorly designed or defective guardrails can increase the risk of a serious injury or fatality occurring in an accident.

Guardrails not installed properly.

Sometimes guardrails do not get installed correctly. Installing at the proper height is critical. For instance, if the guardrails are too short, they may not stop a vehicle from jumping over them. On the other hand, if they are installed too high, it can create too much space underneath allowing for crash victims to slide under.

Negligent warnings and installation instructions.

Installation instructions provided may have been unclear or the installers failed to receive proper product warnings, both of which can help to create serious hazards.

Lack of Maintenance.

Guardrails may not be maintained properly. Poor maintenance can lead to problems such as the rails becoming dilapidated over time or erosion of the ground around them so that they may not be able to withstand the force of an accident.

No Guardrails.

Not all roads are dangerous and need guardrails; however, there some roads that may have a high risk for head-on collisions or rollover accidents that are lacking them.


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