Road safety: safety barriers and guardrails

Road safety: safety barriers  and guardrails

Infrastructure plays a crucial role in the effects of a road accident. safety barriers, impact dampers and asphalt can make the difference. Interview with the manufacturer Road Safety

When we talk about road safety, we focus a lot on the aspects related to the driving style and the characteristics of the vehicles, but it is also essential to consider the state and the equipment of the infrastructures on which, in normal times, millions of motorists travel daily. The components involved are different, both with effects on driving safety and on the mitigation of the effects of an accident. Take asphalt as an example: if it has holes, irregularities or is damaged, the road holding of vehicles and their ability to brake correctly are affected. 

Inadequate asphalt severely limits water drainage in case of rain, increasing the risk of aquaplaning. No less important are the infrastructures used on roads and highways: the side safety barriers, the related terminals, the shock attenuators are all elements that do not have a mere decorative function but are used to contain the exit of a vehicle’s roadway and to cushion its impact, and to do so they must have adequate characteristics. To arrive at “hi-tech” infrastructures such as monitoring systems capable of detecting road accidents, installed in areas at risk.

safety barriers

The entire road network – both the ordinary and the highway ones – is characterized by accidents caused (or the consequences of which have worsened) by the state of the infrastructures, to which must be added those caused by dangerous driving behavior and by vehicles that are not suitable for circulation. Safety barriers should be added that the state of the roads is undoubtedly worse when it comes to those of municipal competence, while it is better if you take into account the suburban ones managed by Anas and the motorway sections.

As mentioned, in addition to the quality and state of the asphalt, to ensure adequate safety standards it is also necessary to invest in all those elements that delimit the roadways. What we commonly call “guardrail” safety barriers and who have to make sure that a car, an out-of-control motorcycle or truck should as far as possible avoid ending up off the road. At the same time, however, they must limit possible damage to the occupants of vehicles and motorcycles.

safety barriers

This is why it is not enough to delimit lanes and roadways with metal or concrete elements, but it is necessary that the side safety barriers have adequate characteristics and construction qualities. And with a procurement code regulated in such a way as to reward the discount – albeit with a series of minimum characteristics to be met – there is not always the certainty of traveling on roads that protect users. 

And that often do not even protect the operators of the road network, because an accident in which motorists and passengers are injured or killed because of inadequate infrastructure costs a lot in terms of compensation.

Natalie Leary

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