Have you ever gone off the road and had your vehicle stopped from going over the edge by a guardrail? As a driver, you expect that you’ll experience a buffer against the speed of the vehicle if you’re ever headed for the shoulder with some force behind you. But what happens if those guardrails aren’t as safe as you think?
The guardrails on the side of the road form an important protection for people who are run off the road in an accident. These guardrails help to prevent further injuries and slow the speed of the car. However, if they are not installed at the right height or if they hit the driver in the wrong manner, this could lead to a rollover accident. Guardrails across the country sit at a standard height 31″ presently. However, a new study published in Motor Authority indicates that guardrails need to be raised in order to account for the higher vehicles on the road today. This standard of 31″ was established way back when there were many more Sedans on the road.
Their lower center of gravity and the fact that they ride lower makes 31″ the perfect size for the guardrail height. However, the study recommends that now, due to the fact that many SUVs and crossover vehicles are on the road, that these guardrails should be raised to a height of 36″ in order to protect taller vehicles. Just one inch of difference could make a significant impact on whether or not a vehicle is safely contained. When a 2003 KIA Rio was tested at 37″, for example, it slid completely underneath the guardrail and may have led to a fatal crash if it involved real people, whereas it was contained by a 36″ guardrail. If you have already been involved in an accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, reckless behavior, or defective roads, you need to consult with a personal injury lawyer in San Diego immediately.