When on the road, it is expected from drivers to drive at appropriate speeds in order to remain on the road and get to their destinations safely. The most common reasons why vehicles lose control on the road are: driver fatigue, driver error, alcohol influence, bad road conditions, excessive speed and tough weather conditions. Therefore, there is a need for proper safety equipment to be installed on the roads such as safety road barriers.
Road safety barriers are solid structures that are specially designed to prevent direct car crashes and cars from running off the road. In Australia, safety road barriers are used heavily on the roads, and the reports suggest that the number of direct car crashes is significantly reduced thanks to the road safety barriers. The road safety barrier system is considered as cost-effective way of protecting drivers on the road, because it requires minimum maintenance. A road safety barriers should be installed on every road, especially on high-speed highways, if there is a high risk of direct car crashes. These barriers are designed to withstand high car impacts.
There are three main types of road safety barriers:
- rigid, and
- semi-rigid safety road barriers
The preferred design of a road safety barrier system in Australia is the flexible or the wire rope barrier system. The flexible safety road barriers system is consisted of three or four cables, arranged at different heights and in different configurations. Depending on the system, the height of the cables varies, and usually the upper cable is about 700mm above the ground level. Also, it has posts with cross-sectional shape, with a function to support the cables and to absorb the energy from the vehicle impact. The standard post spacing is about 3mm.
There are many companies that produce flexible road safety barriers, but the details of their design are different. Flexible safety road barriers are used heavily on the roads in Australia because they are very effective and probably the best one for increased safety on the roads. Although the design varies, all flexible safety road barriers systems have similar features and properties.