Highways carry tremendous traffic in South Africa. With vehicles moving at an average speed of between 100 and 120 km per hour, many accidents can be fatal. Though a Highway Guardrail cannot prevent fatalities altogether, the barriers are essential in helping to prevent accidents and reduce the number of deaths on the roads.
The highway guardrail prices in South Africa are affected by a number of factors such as:
- the types of barriers;
- installation expenses;
- the length of the barriers;
- the available surface area;
- whether straight or curved panels are needed; and
- the height of the barriers.
Always buy the barriers locally from trusted manufacturers in South Africa for the following reasons:
- More competitive prices than from overseas suppliers.
- Products are locally manufactured according to standards applicable to South Africa.
- Guarantees and warranties are available on the products.
- You support the local manufacturing industry and thus boost the economy.
- It leads to job creation in South Africa.
- Quicker installation is possible because the materials are immediately available.
- Products are manufactured to meet the Department of Transport’s requirements.
- Products are suitable for the South African road conditions.
- Technical support is available in the selection of the most appropriate barriers.
While the price is important when choosing a guardrail, other factors must also be considered. These include:
- location of the barrier;
- clearance space available behind the barrier;
- types of risks against which the barrier must provide protection;
- the speed of travel on a particular road;
- the types of vehicles that use the particular road;
- maintenance requirements of the barrier as any type of road works or maintenance carry a risk for the workers and the road users;
- the durability of the particular barrier type; and
- the safety profile of the barrier type.
Places Where Highway Guardrails Are Installed
W-beam, wire-rope, and concrete barriers are the most used types of freeway barriers. Each has its own characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages. When it comes to the prices of these guardrails in South Africa, it is important to consider the durability of the barriers, the cost of repair after each collision, and the general maintenance needed over the lifetime of the barriers.
With any type of barrier also being an obstacle and possible cause for an accident, it is imperative to consider where such barriers must be installed. If it is at all possible not to install a barrier on a highway or any other type of road and still ensure the safety of road users, then it is better to go without barriers.
The question must be asked whether the presence of the barrier poses a higher risk of injury or fatality than if it is not installed. To this end, the types of risks against which it must protect should be considered. Such risks include, but are not limited to:
- Water sources such as dams, the ocean, and rivers
- Unforgiving objects such as buildings, rock faces, trees, streetlights, and pillars
- Opposite-flowing traffic from an opposite-direction highway
- Cliffs, mountainsides, and ditches
- On bridges to prevent vehicles from accidentally driving off the bridges onto the traffic below
The Highway Guardrail is also installed to prevent pedestrians, animals, and cyclists from crossing the highway and thereby causing potentially fatal accidents. The median barriers are installed on the grass islands between two opposite-flowing highways to prevent motorists from making U-turns from one fast-moving lane to another. Such median barriers are also installed to prevent accidents from the fast-moving lane of one highway spilling over to the fast-moving traffic of an opposite-flowing highway. This helps to reduce the severity of accidents and thus fatality rates on South African highways. Median barriers, furthermore, help to reduce light glare and thus the temporary blinding of motorists because of the headlights of vehicles coming from the front. With the improved ability of the motorists to see at night, the risk of accidents is reduced.
Advantages of Road Barriers Such as the W-beam Guardrails in South Africa
W-beam guardrails have been proven to improve driver confidence, especially at night when the road edge is often not clearly visible. During extreme fog conditions and at night, motorists tend to drive close to the median in order to avoid going down cliffs or high roads because they are not sure where the road surface ends. With W-beam guardrails installed, the road users know exactly where the safe path ends and have the assurance that there are barriers to prevent them from accidentally leaving the safety of the road surface. With that in mind, they tend to drive more to the left side of the road. This helps to reduce the instances of head-on collisions associated with median clustering. The W-beam barriers are also fitted with reflective devices called delineators. These make the Highway Guardrail highly visible at night and thus help road users to see how the path flows.
W-beam barriers work as entire systems. If a straying vehicle hits a barrier on a side angle, the friction between the vehicle and the barrier helps to reduce speed. With a severe impact, the barrier prevents a breakthrough and partially redirects the vehicle back to safety. The barrier is installed to cater to the types of vehicles using the road and the speed of travel. This is to help prevent high-ground clearance vehicles from simply moving over the barriers. The type of barrier and its advantages must be considered when comparing the prices of barriers in South Africa.
W-beam barriers need clearance behind the barriers to ensure the guardrails can partially give way during the impact. The entire barrier takes the impact and spreads the kinetic energy through the system. This takes some of the impact energy away from the vehicle and its occupants. By reducing the impact severity on the vehicle and its occupants, it can thus help to reduce the risk of severe injuries and fatalities.
Where there is not enough road surface space or clearance available behind the barrier, a wire-rope fence can be installed. The wire-rope is also durable and can be repaired quickly after an accident. However, such a rail cannot prevent a complete breakthrough where a heavy vehicle collides with it at high speed. With the reduced impact on the vehicle and occupants, it is considered safe. However, the wire-rope fence gives way too much for installing it on the edge of a mountain pass road and thus different barriers suit different environments.
Concrete barriers are often installed in the median of two highways where there is not enough space for a grass median with a W-beam or wire-rope fence barrier in the middle. The concrete barrier is rather rigid, making it perfect for preventing a breakthrough from one highway to the other. It is also high enough to prevent temporary blinding related to headlights shining into the eyes of drivers. The blocks are heavy and special equipment is needed for the instalment.
All three barriers are cost-effective, low on maintenance, and adequate for usage on South African highways. However, where the barriers must be installed, prices regarding installation and repairs, as well as cost over the entire lifetime of the barriers must be considered.
Thus, regardless of prices, the roles and advantages of highway guardrails and wire-rope fences in South Africa are extremely important in preventing or reducing the number of accidents and deaths on the roads. However, to calculate the cost of a barrier, one must work closely with the road engineers and the suppliers of highway guardrails. To this end, make use of the Armco Superlite services and products. With an extensive range of road safety products, we are able to provide clients with the equipment needed to improve road safety while road works are undertaken for the installation of the barriers.
Choose Armco Superlite
We have a reputation for excellence and an international footprint. With strict standards for quality management and customer support, Armco Superlite shows its commitment to the safety of products and the supply of well-tested goods. Buy locally to benefit from the competitive highway guardrail prices offered by Armco Superlite in South Africa. View our range of road safety products and get in touch with us today for more information on. When it comes to Highway Guardrail and our versatile range of road-safety equipment, we’ve got you covered.