KNOW THE FACTS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who is responsible for the safety of America’s roads?
Keeping America’s roads safe is a shared responsibility among the following stakeholders. We call this the road safety ecosystem:
- Federal Agencies set safety standards for our roads and vehicles, and they oversee the national highway system.
- Elected officials create safe-driving laws.
- State agencies design roadways and determine which road safety products will be installed at a specific location within their jurisdiction. State agencies are also responsible for inspecting and maintaining road safety products installed on their roads.
- Device manufacturers, like Lindsay Transportation Solutions, manufacture road safety products, all of which have been federally approved and determined to have met or exceeded all applicable safety standards.
- States hire contractors to properly install road safety products.
- Vehicle manufacturers design and make cars to meet safety standards.
And, finally, motorists are responsible for driving safely and defensively. This includes not texting while driving, not operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or any other substance that could impair driving, and not falling asleep when behind the wheel.
Lindsay Transportation Solutions works proactively with these stakeholders to continuously identify ways to enhance safety on America’s roadways and lower risk for drivers.
What is Lindsay doing to enhance roadway safety?
For more than six decades, Lindsay Transportation Solutions has been dedicated to developing products and services that make America’s roadways safer and reduce risk for drivers. Lindsay has been working with members of the road safety ecosystem over the past several years to develop a new standard for road safety hardware and equipment that is expected to be fully implemented by the end of 2019.
Recognizing that roadway safety standards will continue to evolve with advances in technology, Lindsay continues to meet with the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), members of Congress, state transportation departments and other members of the road safety ecosystem to continue discussions about continuously developing innovative solutions for road safety.
What is Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) role in assessing road safety equipment?
FHWA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) that supports State and local governments in the design, construction, and maintenance of the Nation’s highway system.
- FHWA is responsible for setting standards and criteria for evaluating the crashworthiness of road safety equipment;
- FHWA issues eligibility letters on roadside safety devices based on accredited laboratory crash test results; and
- FHWA conducts detailed investigations into road safety products to ensure such products improve the safety of America’s roads.
How does Lindsay ensure road safety equipment is properly installed and maintained?
The states – not Lindsay – are responsible for the proper installation, inspection and maintenance process for road safety equipment. However, because Lindsay takes training very seriously, it has employees across the country who train state officials and contractors on the proper installation of Lindsay’s road safety products and equipment. In addition to providing hands-on training to state officials and contractors, Lindsay also offers training manuals and online training tools, including a mobile app with training and installation information in four languages: English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish. The company’s resources are available to any state official or contractor who requests them. Lindsay also hosts a “Road Safety Tour” for state departments of transportation, federal agencies, road safety equipment distributors and contractors. During the tours, Lindsay provides hands-on demonstrations and training.
How do end terminals make America’s roads safer and reduce risk for drivers?
The FHWA has stated the following: “A guardrail is a safety barrier intended to shield a motorist who has left the roadway. Guardrails can make roads safer and lessen the severity of crashes. For most drivers in most conditions, guardrails work as intended. However, guardrails cannot completely protect drivers in every situation. Factors such as the size, speed, and orientation of a vehicle can affect guardrail performance.”
How safe is the X-LITE product?
For more than six decades, Lindsay Transportation Solutions has been developing road safety equipment that make America’s roadways safer and reduce risk for drivers. Lindsay’s X-LITE Guardrail End Terminal is compliant with the crash testing and evaluation criteria contained in the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 350. It successfully passed crash and safety tests in accordance with Federal Highway Administration standards and criteria.
Why are states no longer installing the X-LITE?
In December 2015, the American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) announced an approved schedule for implementing roadside safety hardware devices, such as guardrail end terminals, on the National Highway System that meet new crash-testing standards.
In a press release, AASHTO executive director Bud Wright explained that the standard is intended to adapt to the changes on America’s roadways. “The nation’s motor vehicle fleet continues to evolve and our roadside hardware must keep pace,” he said. “Vehicles have increased in size and light-truck bumper heights are higher. It’s important that AASHTO and the transportation safety community support the design and manufacture of roadside devices that meet the safety needs of America’s changing vehicle fleet.”
The new standard – the AASHTO Manual for Assessment of Safety Hardware (or MASH) – has already been partially implemented and is expected to be fully implemented by the end of 2019. MASH updates the previous standard, referred to as NCHRP 350. As such, only end terminals evaluated using the new standard will be allowed for new installations and replacements. Many states are already moving to the new standard ahead of the sunset dates.
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) developed the new safety standard and an implementation plan was jointly adopted by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
Is X-LITE the only end-terminal product impacted by the new standard?
No, all road safety hardware is impacted by the new MASH standard.
How does the X-LITE work?
The X-LITE is an energy absorbing guardrail end terminal. This means that when a vehicle strikes the head of the end terminal, the rail collapses backward, absorbing the kinetic energy of the vehicle and bringing it to an eventual stop. The X-LITE end terminal, like other end treatments, is not designed to redirect or deflect vehicles.
How does X-LITE perform compared to other products?
FHWA data demonstrates that the X-LITE performs as well as or better than similar products on the market. In response to a request to re-examine the FHWA Federal Aid Eligibility letter on Lindsay’s X-lite guardrail terminal, the FHWA retained an expert to review X-lite testing results, examined the “most rigorous in-service data” (analyzing data from 200+ crashes) and received information relating to the “States’ usage of and experience with” the X-LITE. Based upon their detailed examination, the FHWA determined, in May 3, 2017, that:
- The data did “not lead to any conclusion that…the Lindsay X-LITE [was] unsafe.”
- Updated data as of March 2018, which is publicly available on the FHWA’s website, continues to support this conclusion.
- Importantly, the X-LITE has reduced the number and severity of injuries sustained in automobile accidents.
What are states saying about X-LITE?
State transportation departments across the country that use the X-LITE have reported over the last year that X-LITE is performing as intended.
- The Massachusetts Department of Transportation stated in a news report that it “has seen no documented engineering or other analysis that would confirm any inherent risks to drivers or others caused by X-LITE End Terminal Systems.”
- In a news report earlier this year, the Maryland State Highway Administration said, “To just point to the X-LITE, I think is professionally irresponsible for me to even single it out because there are a myriad of factors that go into a crash.”
- The Georgia Department of Transportation told a news outlet, “we don’t have the data that [the X-LITE] is not performing.”
- In another story, the Kansas Department of Transportation said it has had “no reported problems with X-LITEs” and “there’s no immediate need for widespread removal.”
- “New York has had no known injury, crashes or fatalities involving these terminals on the state highway system,” wrote the New York Department of Transportation in a letter.
- The Florida Department of Transportation wrote in a letter that “the department has no negative experiences with the X-LITE End Terminal.”
- The Nebraska Department of Transportation wrote a similar letter with the same conclusion.