Everyday, millions of motorists pass by them without much thought. They line highways, freeways, and other roadways and are meant to prevent motorists from veering off the roadway and down embankments or into oncoming traffic. Guardrails are there to save lives, but they may present a hidden danger as well. Many are constructed from galvanized steel for maximum impact absorption, and some, but not all guardrails include end treatments, which are meant to deflect oncoming traffic without spearing the vehicle. Wooden posts provide more effective safety than steel posts, but many guardrails still have steel posts. WSB Radio reports on a crash that involved a guardrail spearing a vehicle, injuring a father and a young child.
On Tuesday morning, a Chevy Impala struck a guardrail in Northbridge, Massachusetts.
The guardrail impaled the car, crushing the right side of the vehicle and striking a four-year-old girl in the head.
David Brown, the girl’s father, was in the front passenger seat. His daughter, Abbey, was in a car seat behind him. Abbey’s stepmother was driving the vehicle.
While the stepmother wasn’t hurt, Brown had to be cut from the vehicle.
He and Abbey are both recovering in the hospital after having surgery for their injuries.
The guardrail was several years old and lacked the features that absorb the impact of a crash.
If the guardrail had been a few more inches to the right, both lives may have been lost.
Police are investigating the crash, but it appears that the driver swerved to avoid hitting an animal that had run in front of the vehicle.
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