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Federal highway officials have long insisted that guardrails on highways are safe, but some guardrails have caused serious and sometimes fatal injuries.

Some guardrails are cut to form rail heads or end terminals and should be curled safely, but instead are cut into spears and when cars hit them they injure the occupants instead of cushioning the blow.

Because of its safety concerns, some states have banned further installation of rail heads. Lawsuits say that guardrails were to blame for five deaths, and many more injuries, in at least 14 accidents nationwide.

The Federal Highway Administration and the Texas-based manufacturer, Trinity Industries, a large supplier of guardrails nationwide, deny there is a problem and says the guardrails meet crash-test criteria. However, internal communications from the highway administration show that a senior engineer expressed reservations about their safety, before he signed off on their continued use about two years ago, according to the New York Times.

Serious injuries related to rail heads on guardrails continue to be reported nationwide. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a guardrail crash, contact Finkelstein and Partners for a free consultation today. We’re here to help.

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Hudson Valley Magazine editorial staff.

car guardrail