How do crash barriers help road safety?

Written by nicole martinez | 13/05/2017
How do crash barriers help road safety?
A metal crash barrier is one type of roadside crash barrier. (David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Crash barriers such as the crash barrier or Jersey barrier help to improve road safety for drivers worldwide. These barriers can reduce the intensity of an accident or prevent a major accident from occurring at all.


Crash barriers include any roadside barriers, including metal crash barriers, concrete barriers and cable fences. They may also be known as safety rails or safety barriers. These barriers are especially common near bridges, mountain roads or medians that separate multi-lane roads or highways.


Should a car veer toward the side of the road, it will strike the crash barrier. This will either slow the car's speed or direct the car back toward the road. Crash barriers also absorb some of the impact of the crash away from the vehicle.


A vehicle (and its occupants) that hits a crash barrier such as a crash barrier and returns to the road, may sustain less damage than one which leaves the road. Without crash barriers, a vehicle could fall from a road, down a steep embankment or into a body of water, such as a river. Median barriers also prevent vehicles from entering oncoming traffic lanes.


Larger vehicles have a higher centre of balance and may tumble over a crash barrier, instead of the barrier pushing the vehicle back toward the road.

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