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Stephen H. Richards

WATE, Knoxville’s ABC affiliate, recently spoke with Stephen Richards, the director of the Southeastern Transportation Center, about a particular type of guardrail.

The issue came to a head recently with the death of an East Tennessee woman whose car struck one of the rails.

Richards pointed out that the rails do their job for the most part, but that some injuries and fatalities can’t be avoided do a variety of factors.

“The slope of the land, the condition of the soil posts are embedded in, there are a number of factors. We have a standard test procedure but we can’t account for every single different condition we find out in the field,” Richards told the station.

The Southeastern Transportation Center operates under the Tickle College of Engineering at UT.

The full interview can be seen on