I heard that they are illegal. All cars have to do is go above a certain speed, not too much above the limit, and it destroys the rail. If the rail gets through the car to the driver or any passenger, which is likely, then they are injured - severely.
At best guard rails are indicators of where not to venture. You want to drive your car through a guard rail? I say good luck to you. Where I live guard rails let drivers know to keep on the road, especially when not to do so means sailing off a cliff. At a railway crossing there are guard rails. Sure, smash into one and drive around it and meet up with a train going 60 mph or more weighing 500 tons or more. Chances of your survival? Probably not that great.
If you are going fast enough then it does not stop you and if it is metal/steel then it harms you. How about if they make them out of dirt? That would stop about 80% - 90%, if not 100, of people without hurting them - at least not as bad as metal.
They are there as a warning, not stop you physically. If you are stupid enough to smash into one in order to play tag with a train you're likely to wind up dead anyway. The same goes for smashing through a barrier in order to drive over a cliff.
Suppose that your brakes have gone out, or something similar, and you cannot stop. I think that something like two piles of sandbags would be better and do less harm than guard rails, and may be cheaper.
Of course they would test them. If they can build the pile deep enough it would stop everyone and not harm them, at least not as much. the outside would be made different so they could paint them or something.
Others have come up with the notion that ordinary sandbags would disintegrate with rain and wind after a while and need replacing too often. Glow in the dark sandbags might be too distracting and cause accidents. Reflectors on guard rails are fine.
I can think of a couple of purposes for them: 1. if placed above a hill and a driver strikes one, they will slow down the vehicle during the inevitable plunge down the embankment and 2. they soften the impact for people, animals, homes and other structures in the line of collision.
Even considering a few drivers and passengers have experienced guard rails razing through their vehicles, pedestrians deserve some measure of protection in the likelihood there is some accident on the highway.
Sure, above the hill it slows a vehicle down due to it losing momentum on the way up. I agree with each of these Beth but they were talking about the ones on our main roads and highways. They were already saying 'illegal in places but still had them.
Guard rails are meant to prevent vehicles from going over steep shoulders or drop offs next to the pavement. They work both as a visual barrier and a physical barrier. In most instances guard rails are designed to crumble and fail at certain levels of force. If they were too rigid it could cause even more injury to the driver because it would be like hitting a concrete wall.
That is why they started removing them and making them illegal. Driving too slow they were like hitting concrete and there were many injuries; too fast and they crumbled and you died. I believe that dirt/sand would work better;only fast rigs might .
As someone who bikes to work four times a week and has a long section of road that people speed like mad on, i am sure it will do my paranoia wonders to know the guardrail i thought was at least somewhat useful is essentially worthless.
Especially considering how I almost get hit by idiots on a daily basis since no one knows what a stop signs looks like.
There are main supports for the rail which stick up, right? Bike riders, and other travelers without cars, get harmed on those - besides other areas of the rail. What do you think of dirt/sand in their place?
Guard rails provide a visual limit and an assist in maintaining the roadway in poor conditions. Not many are designed to bear the entire weight of a passenger vehicle or the impact of a sharply angled impact. In some cases, they are the difference between expensive body & fender work and a fatal motor vehicle accident. Yes, guard rails have been part of the problem when struck at the most unfortunate angle but. more often than not, have saved the lives of motorists who've fallen asleep at the wheel, succumbed to a momentary distraction, or slipped on wet or icy roads. At times, when acting as a divider, they've prevented a crossover into oncoming lanes thus limiting those injuries and fatalities. I would rather see the road equipped with them than designed without them.
They could maybe stop a car veering off the road unaware? I agree many mountainous areas need them! As a child I was terrified places we traveled and we knew of cars that plunged to their death but today they have been made safe with guard rails.
Yes, I agree, as we have plenty of guard rails up and down the Interstate on my commute, as there are so many deep ravines. Cars have veered off plenty before the guard rails were put up. I am thankful with this time change that they are there.
Mostly they show where the road goes. Very helpful at night. Most guard rails aren't of much substance. We are looking for a new commute car and the safety specs for the very efficient cars are sad. The average car or motorcycle doesn't sustain much damage from guard rail contact. We have a lot of experience with that kind of thing lately
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