Traffic Barriers: A Second Chance

by Richard D. Powers, Federal Highway Administration, Washington, DC, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Effectiveness of Highway Safety Improvements


More motorists are killed each year after striking traffic barriers than any other fixed object except utility poles and trees. These deaths occur primarily because the guardrail or bridge rail in many instances is inadequate by today's standards or because the capacity of the barrier is exceeded. This paper briefly identifies commonly-observed deficiencies in existing railings and suggests locations where higher-performance level railings should be considered. Several experimental barriers which can be used at these high-risk locations are identified and described.

Subject Headings: Traffic accidents | Traffic management | Highway barriers | Railroad bridges | Traffic analysis | Utilities | Power transmission poles | Trees

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