There are roughly 6 million car accidents every year on roadways across the United States. There were 738 total motor vehicle traffic fatalities in 2017 alone attributed to tire-related crashes. There are plenty of reasons why these crashes happen, but many of them are complete accidents. When a driver loses control of their vehicle or attempts to avoid colliding with another vehicle and swerves off the road, guardrails are there to avoid serious injury. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
According to WATE.com, a Tennessee father is advocating for safer guardrails across the U.S., after his 17-year-old daughter, Hannah Eimers, was killed in an auto accident in 2016 when her vehicle ran off the road and directly into a guardrail. The specific brand of guardrail that killed Steve Eimers’ daughter: Lindsay X-Lite guardrail system.
The U.S. fencing market is projected to reach $11.5 billion by 2024 — and there are fencing organizations that specialize in installing safe guardrails on American roads, as well. Though Lindsay Transportation has designed its X-Lite guardrails to reduce the number of injuries and automobile fatalities, the organization has come under fire in recent years due to an increase in fatal guardrail collisions.
X-Lite guardrails can be found in 28 states across the country, with 14,000 nationwide — approximately 2% of all guardrails in the United States.
“When I learned of other deaths from X-Lite around the nation, I knew there was something very, very wrong. I knew I had to act,” said Eimers. “I asked my local state representatives three questions, that has simply snow-balled into a national platform. I can’t accept that another family in New Hampshire is going to share in this horror.”
As of December 2018, Tennessee has removed all X-Lite guardrail systems across the state, approximately 20,000 of them.
Additionally, according to NBC San Diego, after multiple guardrail-related fatalities across the country, X-Lite guardrails will no longer be used throughout California.
“X-Lite has successfully passed crash and safety tests in accordance with Federal standards and criteria and remains eligible for Federal transportation funding,” said a company spokesperson. “There is no road safety equipment that can prevent injury every time a driver fails to stay on the road.”