According to the U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration, the purpose of a guardrail is to provide a safety barrier to shield motorists who leave the roadway. However, several prominent guardrail manufacturing companies have come under fire for defective products. Defective guardrails can pose serious dangers to New Hampshire motorists, passengers, and bystanders.
In the best-case scenario, a driver veering off the roadway would come to rest without colliding with any vehicle or object. However, many New Hampshire roadways abut embankments, slopes, trees, bridge piers, and utility poles. In these cases, a guardrail provides a stopping point that may be safer than the alternative. The guardrail can deflect a vehicle back to the roadway, slow the vehicle down to a complete stop, or slow down to a safer stopping point.
While federal safety experts do not claim that guardrails completely protect drivers and passengers, they are still responsible for ensuring that the guardrail is installed correctly and free of defects. Many factors, such as the size and speed of a vehicle, can affect how well a guardrail protects drivers. However, guardrails that contain serious defects can pose additional dangers to motorists.