Guard Rail And Safe Operation Of Highways

by Paul R. Tutt,

Serial Information: Journal of the Highway Division, 1967, Vol. 93, Issue 2, Pg. 53-66

Document Type: Journal Paper


The use of guard rail on modern highways is presented. The development of the rail from the manner in which it was used as recently as 1960 to the present practice on Texas highways is traced. The paper describes the evolution of the rail from the unanchored and often short sections of rail, often located so that they would not serve effectively, to the anchored rail, which provides continuity of protection from a point well in advance of the obstacle to a point where no hazard exists. Although this rail may not be the ultimate answer in developing a safe roadside, it has been proved effective in the reduction in severity of many ran off the road accidents. Hazards can best be eliminated through design. A well designed highway has a minimum of guard rail. The few rather positive obstructions such as bridge rails and supports which cannot be removed from the roadside, will still require the use of guard rail in the future. Where rail is required, the type described in this paper will provide a greater degree of protection at a lower cost than do other types available at this time.

Subject Headings: Rail transportation | Highways and roads | Traffic safety | Traffic accidents | Railroad bridges | Safety | Bridge design | Highway and road design | Texas | United States

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