Rhode Island recently joined the ranks of six other states to ban a particular style of highway guardrail, the Lindsay X-LITE, due to concerns over the barriers crash safety. The X-LITE guardrails are believed by some to cause potential death or personal injury in car accidents by piercing, or impaling, the vehicles that come into contact with the barrier during a car crash. Several fatal crashes in the U.S. have involved this style of guardrail and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation plans to remove all of them “out of an abundance of caution”, per DOT spokesman Charles St. Martin.
Rhode Island Fatality Due to X-LITE Guardrail
There is one known fatality in Rhode Island involving the X-LITE guardrail. The auto accident fatality took place in Glocester, RI in May 2016. According to the police report, a 29-year-old Massachusetts man driving a pickup truck struck a 10-foot section of the guardrail, rode over the top of the barrier into a utility pole and down an embankment into a tree. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. However, Glocester Police Chief Joseph DelPrete attributes the cause of the accident and its severity to excessive speed, as opposed to a faulty barrier. Chief DelPrete states the truck was driving 90mph on a tight road. The RIDOT did not review this particular incident or determine whether the guardrail is a safety hazard.