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Why guard rail safety is a pressing issue right now

Posted by Smiley & Smiley on Feb 27, 2015 5:16:55 PM

New Yorkers generally walk to work, drive within the city or take public transportation to work. The bustling, over-crowded nature of New York City crosswalk culture can be dangerous. As a result, many New Yorkers almost certainly feel safer when traveling outside the city than while traveling within the city. However, the farther you travel outside the city, the more likely you are to be confronted with travel hazards unique to less densely urban areas.

For example, if you are traveling on a long stretch of highway outside the city, you are likely to encounter guardrails posted on the sides of the highway. These guardrails are placed in specific positions to give drivers visual cues designed to prevent accidents and barriers designed to help vehicles stop more safely in the event that accidents do occur. Unfortunately, it seems that the guardrail system across the U.S. is in need of attention.

A major manufacturer of guard rails used across the nation is under scrutiny for potentially manufacturing substandard rails. According to the New York Times, more than 30 states are eagerly waiting for federal analysis of crash tests before deciding whether to remove rails produced by the manufacturer or to keep them installed. The final crash test indicates that automobiles may be sustaining more significant damage in crashes involving these guardrails and that motor vehicle occupants could be harmed by the extensive damage risk as a result.

Until a full analysis is completed, little can be done. However, it is important to understand that factors like guard rail stability may be playing a significant role in crashes occurring nationwide right now.

Source: New York Times, “Assessment of Guardrails May Hinge on Final Crash Test,” Danielle Ivory and Aaron M. Kessler, Jan. 30, 2015

Topics: car accidents

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