Importance of Barriers for Road SafetyAshley Woodcock
You might not think about road barriers often, but safety barriers are being installed on high traffic country roads and have been found to reduce crashes by 85 percent (Reference – Roads and Infrastructure). Temporary barriers such as concrete barriers, steel barriers, HighwayGuard and water-filled barriers can significantly decrease the chances of a fatal crash.
Barriers are designed to absorb an impact, sending a shockwave through the chain of connected barriers, ultimately redirecting the vehicle instead of folding it in half or flipping it over the barrier.
As mentioned previously, there are three different types of road barriers, each with its specifications and benefits. Let’s take a look at the three main types of barriers in detail.
Concrete Road Barriers
Concrete road barriers are heavy-duty and great for temporary protection. You can rent concrete barriers on a short or long-term basis.
Concrete barriers are especially good for protecting construction workers on a job site.
Construction workers are in a vulnerable position out there in the middle of the road. They need to have adequate protection from errant cars, flying debris, and other unexpected intrusions.
Concrete road barriers are easy to repair and replace. They can also be placed in virtually any configuration, either bolted down or free-standing. Concrete road barriers are great for construction projects in large areas.
Even when free-standing, concrete barriers still provide great protection because they are heavy, easy to see, and can be installed with tall gawk screens attached.
Like all road barriers, the best concrete barriers have been thoroughly tested to ensure adequate crash protection.
Water Filled Road Barriers
Water-filled road barriers are typically made of bright orange plastic. They can easily be transported in large amounts and installed very quickly.
Despite the fact that they are lighter than their concrete counterparts, water-filled barriers are still effective.
They will also do little damage to a vehicle that hits them. Their smooth, plastic surfaces can slow a moving vehicle without unnecessarily damaging it.
Due to their bright orange colour, water-filled barriers are also great at redirecting traffic.
If a road must detour for any reason, you can set up these barriers to mark the new path that cars should take. They are low to the ground, so cars can see over them, but they are still very noticeable.
Water-filled road barriers are best for roads with a fifty kilometres per hour speed limit or less. For faster roads, check out another type of road barrier.
Steel Road Barriers
Steel road barriers are the most heavy-duty type of protection you can get. They are suitable for roads up to one hundred kilometres per hour and are incredible at absorbing shock upon impact.
They are great for protecting construction workers, pedestrians, and motorists. They can be used either to prevent crashes or to redirect traffic.
The field of steel barriers is rapidly improving. The HighwayGuard is the Barrier of choice when it comes to 100 km speed zones and building around corners. The Highway Guard is completely maneuverable with the ability to interlock in curved lines. The Highway Guard can be fitted with a gawk screen to prevent suburban noise complaints.
You can add wheelsets to these barriers to create changeable access points. These wheelsets can be easily opened and closed by hand in just a few minutes.
This barrier system is lighter, even safer, and less expensive than other steel barrier options. It has the highest safety rating possible and is manufactured in efficient practices.
Other Road Safety Equipment
Barriers are just one essential piece of the road safety puzzle. Lots of other things must play a part in keeping the streets safe.
Road safety signs communicate with everyone on the road about what is going on. Some signs can be made to communicate variable messages. They can warn drivers of inclement weather, tolls ahead, or detours.
Arrow boards can also quickly let drivers know which direction to take for a detour.
Variable speed limit signs tell drivers when the posted speed limit must change. This is ideal for construction sites that require nearby drivers to go slower than usual.
Portable traffic lights can also be great for keeping construction sites safe. They let drivers know when the usual right of way rules need to be changed to accommodate construction.
To make road barriers even safer, you can also get end treatments. End treatments are attached to the ends of road barriers and make them even more effective. RPM Hire stock a range of end treatments including the Smart Crash Cushion, Absorb 350 and QuadGuard CZ.
End treatments serve two purposes. First, they are generally brightly coloured and reflective. This lets drivers know that a barrier exists and gives them plenty of time to adjust their course if necessary.
Second, they are even more shock absorbent than a barrier is on its own. End treatments fortify existing road barriers to amplify their safety.
Keep Your Streets Safe
Now that you know more about road safety, don’t wait to seek out the right kind of road protection for you. If you oversee road construction, it’s important that you get the right barrier for the job.