Drivers concerned about a serious traffic accident may focus on the actions of other drivers. However, the design and signage of roads and highways also play an important role in the safety of everyone who operates a motor vehicle.

The information below reveals the critical role construction companies, contractors and DOT entities play in making the roads safe for drivers?

Controversial guardrails

A local NBC affiliate reported that the West Virginia Department of Transportation will no longer use a controversial guardrail on its roadways. At least seven people have died nationwide after crashing into the Lindsay X-LITE guardrails as the result of spearing injuries. At least five lawsuits claim the design of the rails are defective and name Lindsay Transportation Solutions as a defendant in the legal actions. At least one death occurred in West Virginia. In 2016, a driver ran off the road and hit an X-LITE guardrail that resulted in a fatal piercing. The West Virginia DOT decided to take the guardrails off its approved equipment list, but currently many of the products remain on West Virginia roads, often in areas where the speed limit is less than 55 mph.

Additional deaths

A report from Click on Detroit, a Michigan news organization, cites the instance of other deaths that implicated the X-LITE guardrails. One death in California and one in Tennessee resulted from crashes into the guardrails.  Because of the reporting, the Michigan DOT made the decision to remove the guardrails from its highways. Most of the X-LITE guardrails lined areas of Interstate-275, located near Detroit. The removal of the guardrails cost Michigan just over $274,000. Though Michigan had no deaths from accidents with the guardrails, the state decided to replace them out of an abundance of caution.