Motorways are officially the safest roads in the UK, with statistics showing there are fewer crashes per mile than on any other type of road. There are several reasons for this, but there is no doubt that the presence of motorway barriers helps by preventing vehicles from entering the opposite flow of traffic and leaving the road to collide with obstacles. The performance of barrier systems has made people consider them for other settings and naturally increases the number of applications for them.
Motorway style barriers provide protection for people, buildings and signs along roadsides. On motorways you’ll see them in long stretches keeping traffic travelling in opposite directions separate and preventing people from leaving the road where there are dangerous obstacles. In most cases, the barriers start well in advance of hazards to provide the best level of protection.
With non-motorway settings there is usually less space to begin the barrier far in advance of the obstacle. As a result, the system needs to be more rigid and provide an all round better form of protection. There are several solutions for this including Armco and open box beam (OBB) systems as well as concrete ones for extreme situations when there are strict spatial limitations.
Barriers can be used in built up pedestrian areas and many types of working environments where vehicles and pedestrians work in close proximity. They are regularly employed to protect vulnerable parts of buildings, including columns and corners as well as valuable contents. The number of uses for them is constantly growing because they are so flexible and dynamic.
If you’re planning on utilising motorway barriers in a non-motorway setting you need to ensure they provide the right level of protection, including being able to withstand impacts at various speeds and angles. Always keep in mind what vehicles will be in the area and the kind of accidents that could occur. This knowledge will help you to make sure you have the right safety infrastructure in place.