Think about the last time you were driving on the highway. Unless you’re a particularly fearless driver, at some point, you may have had to use your brakes to avoid a potential accident. When you do, what’s the first thing that happens? That’s right. Your car starts to slow down. But it’s not just your car; the cars around you are also slowing down. This is because we all drive on roads and highways designed to be as safe as possible.
Guardrails are one of the features of these roads that help keep us safe. But how do road guardrails work, and why are they so important? In this article, Florida Roadway Guardrail & Signs, Inc will give you a closer look at the science of safety and how guardrail designs save lives.
Roadside Guardrails: The Basics
Most Americans are familiar with roadside guardrails. They are those metal rails that line the sides of highways and roads. But you might not have thought much about how they work or why they are there. Let’s take a closer look at the basics of roadside guardrails.
As the name suggests, roadside guardrails protect drivers from veering off the road. They provide a physical barrier between the road and any potential hazards beyond it, such as a steep embankment or bodies of water. Guardrails are also used to separate traffic traveling in opposite directions and to delineate the edges of roads and highways.
Types Of Guardrails
In general, there are two types of roadside guardrails:
- W-Beam Guardrails: W-beam guardrails are the most common type of guardrail in the United States. They are named so because they have two waves or steel panels connected in the middle by a connector block. W-beam guardrails are typically 12 feet long and 6 inches tall.
- Thrie-Beam Guardrails: Thrie-beam guardrails are similar to W-beam guardrails but feature three waves or panels of steel instead of two. Thrie-beam guardrails are typically 16 to 24 feet long and 8 inches tall.
How Do Roadside Guardrails Work?
The basic principle behind the roadside guardrail is that it is designed to redirect a vehicle that has left the road back onto the road. Guardrails are usually installed on the side of the road and are typically made of steel or other strong material. When a vehicle hits a guardrail, the energy from the impact is absorbed by the guardrail, deflecting the vehicle back onto the road.
Why Are Roadside Guardrails Important?
Roadside guardrails are important because they can help to reduce the severity of injuries in a crash. They are also effective at preventing vehicles from leaving the road entirely, which can help to prevent serious accidents altogether. Furthermore, roadside guardrails can help to protect pedestrians and cyclists who may be near the road.
Guardrails are an important part of roadway design and can help make roads safer for everyone. Contact a qualified guardrail solution provider if you have questions about guardrail design or installation.
Here’s How Florida Roadway Guardrail & Signs, Inc Can Help You!
Florida Roadway Guardrail & Signs, Inc is the trusted full-service guardrail solutions provider for communities across Stuart, FL. We offer FDOT/MUTCD-approved guardrails that meet the latest industry safety standards. Our team of highly-trained and experienced engineers can design, fabricate, and install guardrails to meet your specific needs. We also offer many other roadway safety products and services, including signs, pavement markings, and traffic control devices.
For more information about our products and services, contact us today. We look forward to serving you!