Drivers are at risk of veering off the road for many reasons. Distracted driving, falling asleep at the wheel, or driving under the influence are a few common ones. Whatever the reason may be, a guardrail system can help keep drivers safe.
There are a few fundamental components of guardrail systems that are important to know. This blog post will cover the basics of guardrail systems and their components.
What is a Guardrail?
Guardrails are barriers installed along the side of a road. Their design focuses on keeping vehicles from leaving the roadway and crashing. Guardrails are typically made of steel or concrete and can be rigid or flexible.
The purpose of a guardrail is to protect drivers, passengers, and pedestrians from severe injury or death.
Components of a Guardrail:
The guardrail is more than just a few individual components linked together. Instead of functioning as separate items, it serves as a complete system. Each element in the guardrail system plays its part. Everything from the posts driven into the ground to the way the guardrail connects to them is essential and has a role.
However, a guardrail system has two key functional components: the guardrail face and the end terminal.
The Guardrail Face:
It is the part of the guardrail that does the job of stopping a vehicle. It’s usually made from steel, aluminum, or concrete and can be smooth or corrugated. The face can also be sloped to deflect a car more effectively.
The purpose of the guardrail face is to provide a sturdy barrier between oncoming traffic and whatever it is you’re trying to protect. It must be strong enough to withstand impact without breaking and causing further damage.
An end terminal or treatment keeps a guardrail system from being an infinite line. End terminals are placed at the start and end of the rail. When a vehicle hits the terminal, they stop instead of crashing through.
There are three different types of end treatments:
Anchorages anchor a flexible or semi-rigid barrier to the ground to improve tensile strength after an impact. These are not crashworthy and solely intended for a barrier’s trailing end.
Terminals are the most common type of end treatment. They have a robust and rigid structure designed to crumble on impact and redirect a vehicle away from the barrier.
Crash Cushions are made of aluminum or steel and are designed to compress on impact, dissipating the force of the collision and protecting the vehicle.
Factors to Consider When Installing a Guardrail:
The Terrain Type: Is the guardrail installed on level ground or a slope?
The Speed Limit: How fast will cars be traveling when they come in contact with the guardrail?
The Type of Traffic: Is the guardrail installed on a highway or a city street?
The Type of Material: The most common material used for guardrails is steel. However, there are other options, such as concrete and wood.
The Height of the Guardrail: The taller the railing, the more effective it will be.
The Length of the Guardrail: The longer the railing, the more likely it is to redirect a car.
Installing highway guardrails is not a simple job. It requires special skills and knowledge to do it correctly.
Florida Roadway Guardrail & Signs, Inc, serving Fort Lauderdale, is a professional guardrail installation company. We have the experience and expertise to handle all your guardrail needs.