To date, 46 states have banned the ET-Plus guardrail system blamed nationwide for 40 deaths and hundreds of injuries. North Carolina is one of the few states that has not banned the ET-Plus. Some states have gone as far as to require any ET-Plus be uninstalled from their highways.
In an statement to WRAL, NCDOT senior traffic engineer Kevin Lacy said the data ‘does not compel us to make a change in our practice.’
The ET-Plus guardrail system is manufactured by the Texas-based Trinity Industries, Inc. A Texas jury last fall found Trinity had defrauded the government by not revealing a design change made in 2005 that many believe is the cause of the guardrail becoming deadly. The end caps went from five inches to four inches. The smaller size can cause the guardrail to pierce a vehicle’s passenger compartment instead of peeling away as the originally designed and approved.