crash barriers

15 Apr 2005
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United Kingdom
Something thats been bugging me for a while now. Why do all new roadside crash barriers have solid ends facing traffic?

I thought the idea was that they had rounded ends (dug into the ground) so that any collision with the end of the barrier would just result in the car riding up onto the barrier, rather than doing any serious damage.

Something I find quite amusing is that they paint them yellow and black, as if to say "please dont crash into this as it will hurt". WTF is the point?!
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Funnily enough I've been thinking just the same thing. I've come to the conclusion that they will compress like the crumple zone of a car rather than launch the car into the air.
I was also wondering about this recently. If you look at the construction of some of them they don't look like they would move that much and they are made of thick as fook steel. Old ****ters like mine are likely to be punctured like a balloon and my legs taken off.

I would far rather take my chances on my roof. Gawd help anyone hitting one on a bike :eek:
They are crumple zones on the barrier, designed to absorb the impact. They are not solid enough to stay intact when hit.

A lot better than the old ramp ends, you hit one of them at speed at you would literally take off!
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Joe-90 is never wrong. You should know that by now.
I have walked past one of these and there appeared to be a steel rope type contraption behind the barrier. I wonder what this does?
[url=]wikipedia[/url] said:
Barrier end treatments

Early traffic barrier designs often paid little attention to the ends of the barriers. Vehicles that struck blunt ends could stop abruptly or have steel rail sections penetrate into the passenger compartment, resulting in severe injuries or fatalities.[7] As a result, barrier terminals were developed that brought the end of the terminal down to ground level. While this prevented the rail from penetrating the vehicle, it could also vault a vehicle into the air or cause it to roll over, since the barrier end formed a ramp. To address the vaulting and rollover crashes, energy absorbing terminals were developed. These have a large steel impact head that engages the frame or bumper of the vehicle. The impact head is driven back along the guide rail, dissipating the vehicle's kinetic energy by bending or tearing the steel in the guide rail sections. A guide rail may also be terminated by curving it back to the point that the terminal is unlikely to be hit end-on, or, if possible, by embedding the end in a hillside or cut slope.

So now you know.
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