How Do Armco Barrier Products Keep You Safe on the Road?
The death toll on South African roads is the highest in the world. With 14 000 plus lives lost on the country’s roads every year, measures must be put in place to help reduce the rate of accidents along with the number of deaths. Armco barriers are effective devices for improvement in road safety.
However, the speed of travel on local roads is worrisome, as is the number of pedestrians involved in accidents. Also in this regard, the Armco barriers can help to reduce the number of accidents involving pedestrians since Armco’s wire-rope fences and guardrails protect pedestrians from the impact caused by straying vehicles.
Armco barriers are to be used along with other road safety products and measurements to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities. Although the mere presence of these guardrails cannot guarantee a reduction in the number of incidents, the level of severity, and a reduction in fatalities, these devices do play an important role in improving your safety on South African roads. Let’s take a closer look.
Clearly indicate the edge of the road
Many drivers keep to the middle of the road, just left of the median line, instead of keeping as far left as possible. One of the reasons for this tendency is the fear of driving off the road on the left side. Just a slight difference in the road height and the dirt shoulder of the road can cause the driver to lose control over the vehicle should one of the wheels hit the dirt. Given that the shoulder is often eroded, the height difference can be significant.
With that in mind, especially at night and in low light conditions, motorists often tend to keep to the centre to avoid such incidents. With an Armco safety barrier installed, the driver’s confidence to keep to the left is increased. The motorist can see the edge of the road because of the steel panels and delineators, which are highly visible at night.
Why is it important? Because median clustering increases the risk of fatal head-on collisions. An angled collision with the barrier will cause the vehicle to be redirected back into its original path, whereas a head-on collision means the impact is worse. For instance, two vehicles travel at 120 km per hour from opposite directions. When they collide head-on, the impact is technically 240 km per hour, whereas an angled collision with the guardrail would result in an impact of 120 km per hour and the friction of the vehicle’s body against the barrier’s steel would cause a speed reduction.
Although this is an indirect way of improving the safety profile of South African roads, it takes us one step closer to increased safety.
Prevent straying vehicles from leaving the safety of the road
Should you fall asleep behind the wheel and there is no barrier in place on the left edge of the road when the vehicle strays, the risk of vehicle roll-over, venturing into a water source, over a cliff or down a slope into an unforgiving object, increases significantly.
An Armco W-beam guardrail or wire-rope safety fence prevents breakthrough and is designed with some redirection capacity. Just the sound of the vehicle’s body colliding with the guardrail at an angle can be enough to wake you up. In addition, the guardrail protects you against the situation described above. Furthermore, the guardrail can serve to redirect the vehicle back into the safe travel path. It can also help to reduce the speed of travel, helping you to regain control over the situation and bring the vehicle to a controlled stop.
Protect against hazardous objects and situations
Streetlights, trees, walls, rocks, water sources, embankments, slopes, cliffs and more are all hazardous and unforgiving. Any roads on high-lying areas, such as mountain passes, are unsafe where there are no rails in place to prevent accidental straying off the road. Just a slight slip can cause a vehicle to go over a mountainside if there is nothing to prevent it. The Armco barriers can be curved for sharp turns to help prevent vehicles from going over the side of cliffs or leave the safe travel path at sharp bends in the road.
Prevent vehicles from making U-turns
Many fatal accidents result from illegal U-turns into the fast lanes of opposite-flowing highways. You’ll be in danger if you should drive on the freeway and a vehicle from the opposite-flowing freeway drives over the grass island into the fast lane in an effort to drive in the opposite direction. The vehicle will enter the road at a very low speed while your vehicle will travel at a speed of up to 120 km per hour. Depending on the distance from where the incident occurs, you might not have enough time to stop and can drive into the vehicle. Also, drivers behind you might not have enough time to take evasive action, causing a serious pile-up.
To reduce these types of incidents, it’s necessary to add a barrier in the middle of the grass island separating the two highways. In this way, reckless drivers are prevented from making U-turns that can have fatal consequences for them and other road users.
Absorbing the shock of impact
A wall, rock or tree doesn’t give way to the impact caused by a high-speed vehicle. The consequence is that the impact energy is absorbed by the vehicle body and its occupants. The impact force can be severe.
With an Armco guardrail or wire rope fence, the impact energy of the collision is absorbed by the barrier and distributed throughout the system, thereby reducing the force of impact for the vehicle occupants. This cannot guarantee that nobody will be injured, the severity of injuries will be less or there will not be any fatalities, but it can reduce the impact force and risk of severe injury or death. To this end, note that the angle of impact, speed of travel, vehicle clearance height and other factors also affect the outcome of the collision.
The effectiveness of Armco barriers in increased road safety
Armco barriers can contribute to improved road safety, making it safer for you to travel on South African roads. View the full range of road safety products to gain insight into how these products aid in reducing fatalities on our national roads.