Why the nation's roadside guardrails may have met their match
Plus, how escaping slaves hid rice in their hair, and China's amazing green journey.
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In the past couple of years, the Connecticut town where our weekend house is located replaced most of the metal barriers meant to stop cars going over the edge of roads in what is mostly a hilly area. (Meanwhile, the next town over did the same thing — except that its barriers look much more sturdy.)
It didn’t take long for a nearby guardrail to be tested. As we approached our home, we saw it — crumpled to the ground and replaced by orange cones. It took about a year for the town to fix it, with me continually worrying that someone else might go over the edge again (accidents tend to happen in the same places).
All of which came to mind when I heard about a study from the University of Nebraska. In it, researchers crash-tested electric vehicles — which, with their bulky batteries, tend to be notably heavier than conventional autos — and found that they easily crash through guardrails that were not designed to withstand the extra force.