The ongoing safety fight over a specific type of guardrail end terminals (not necessarily pictured above) has reached its first of perhaps many verdicts. Trinity Industries, makers of the ET-Plus, has been found guilty of defrauding the federal government under the False Claims Act. Specifically, the company was accused of making a design change to its product and not advising the Federal Highway Administration about the revision for seven years. According to The New York Times, the jury awarded
As if its name doesn't make it clear, the whole purpose of a guardrail is to prevent vehicles from leaving a roadway and veering into potentially even more dangerous territory. However, at least one type of guardrail may not be doing its job, according to a recent study. Federal officials are supporting further research to find out if the devices are as safe in the real world as they are in crash tests.
The push to make American roads safer has received its fair share of help from the federal government, thanks to a robust program of highway safety grants that allow state governments to bolster distracted-driving-prevention programs, install ignition interlocks on the vehicles of first-time drunk drivers and build a more comprehensive graduated licensing system for new drivers.
Any dreams that you may have of cruising along the Netherlands' Tron-like, glow-in-the-dark roads are ruined – for now. The pilot project to test the glimmering streets fizzled because the illumination just wasn't bright enough in many situations, and it failed at times when it was needed most.
Most automotive safety advancements these days are being made either through the automakers or government standards, but one group in the Netherlands is coming up with innovative ways of making the roads safer... literally. Design firm Studio Roosegaarde and Heijmans Infrastructure have teamed up to introduce ideas for a so-called "Smart Highway" which was recently named the Best Future Concept at the Dutch Design Awards.
Most states have some sort of "Move Over" law requiring drivers to change lanes or slow down when passing emergency vehicles that are stopped on the side of the road, and the reason for these laws is to prevent what happened to Maryland state trooper David Avila. He had just pulled over a Hyundai Santa Fe when a semi truck veered onto the shoulder, hit the parked police car and clipped Avila, who was standing next to the pulled-over vehicle.