Guardians of the Road: Exploring the Vital Role of Highway Barriers


Every time we enter a highway from our suburban on-ramps, we rarely consider the silent guardians that are in place at the fringes, ready to defend us when things do not go as planned. The unsung hero of the roadway is the highway barrier, the unassuming sentinel that plays a vital role in saving lives and general road safety. These guides protect us and guide us through hazards such as dangerous curves or bends or during planned road construction and maintenance.


In this article, the experts at Armco Superlite will take you through the intricacies of highway barriers. We will discuss what they are, some of the various types there are, the role they play in general road safety, and just how these guardians protect road users daily.


What Is a Highway Barrier?


The highway barrier, also known as a guardrail or crash barrier, is a physical structure designed to guide, assist, or contain vehicles that need to be directed onto a different path, or have veered off course. Although these structures are either permanent or temporary, they do play a crucial role in minimising the severity of road accidents, protecting both drivers and passengers.


At Armco Superlite, we are the leaders in the manufacturing and supply of these barriers, and we offer a broad range of only the most superior-quality systems, each meticulously engineered to fulfil this critical role.


highway barrier

Types of Highway Barriers 


The extent of the highway barrier is long and diverse, with each type suited for specific situations and terrains. Here, we will explain the most common:


  • W-Beam Guardrails: This iconic metal highway barrier is often seen along all our highways and byways. They are known for their strength and ability to absorb impact energy, redirecting vehicles that have lost their path back onto the road. Our W-Beam system ensures driver safety and allows for enhanced deflection and vehicle occupant protection.


  • Cable Barriers: At Armco, we supply Safence, a product we have developed with the Danish company Brdr. Markussens Metalvarefabriek (BMM). These wire rope fences are designed to meet and surpass the requirements for road safety barriers according to NCHRP 350-TL4 and the new European CEN standards.


  • Waterfilled Plastic Barriers: On some models, these plastic barrier life savers are stackable and are easily transported. Although not designed to resist vehicle impacts, once weighed down with sand or water, they will stay in place in case of wind. They are interlockable and available in yellow for high visibility.


  • Traffic Cones and Reboundable Delineators: These lightweight, portable barrier solutions are vital for construction zones and areas requiring flexible traffic management. Our products are resistant to accidental impacts, stackable, and light enough for easy transportation but heavy enough to withstand heavy vehicle winds.


Road Barriers: The Guardian Angels on the Road


Beyond their physical roles, highway barriers collectively contribute to overall road safety in many ways, some of which include:


  • Reducing Accident Severity: By containing and redirecting traffic, barriers help to prevent head-on collisions, rollovers, and vehicles leaving the road, significantly reducing the severity of accidents and associated injuries.


  • Protecting Pedestrians: In urban areas, barriers separate traffic from pedestrian zones, creating a safer environment for walkers and cyclists.


  • Enhancing Driver Awareness: The mere presence of barriers encourages drivers to be more cautious, reducing risk-taking behaviour and promoting safer driving practices.


Arm Yourself with Armco


At Armco Superlite, we strive to be the leading specialists in the supply and manufacture of only the most superior safety barriers. Due to our reputation and extensive expertise, our product range is used extensively by road construction companies, municipalities and government departments, mining houses, contractors, and consulting engineers globally.


If you are planning a project that would require safety barriers and other superior road safety equipment, consider arming yourself with Armco. We are internationally renowned for our superior products and excellent service. From order to execution and delivery, you can count on Armco Superlite to get it right. Contact us for an obligation-free consultation.