A survey of German motorists published in December 2011 by cuecon found that 64.5% of respondents would prefer to see steel safety barriers on the roads they use. With 72% of those surveyed stating that concrete barriers were more dangerous than steel barriers, the reasons for their preference are clear.
Unlike concrete barriers, steel guardrails deform in a crash. If high strength steels are used, this deformation can be closely controlled to:
Road safety barriers are typically designed for cars and trucks. For other road users such as motorcyclists, barriers can offer little protection. Concrete barriers are particularly problematic as they cannot deform to absorb a motorcyclist’s impact energy – unlike steel barriers. ArcelorMittal is actively working with barrier makers to design steel solutions which save the lives of all road users.
Damage to steel barriers is also immediately visible. Affected parts of the barrier can be easily replaced to ensure its integrity. In the case of materials such as concrete, hairline fractures may not be noticed quickly which can compromise the safety performance of the barrier.
Throughout their long lifetimes, steel safety barriers continue to save lives and reduce injuries. No wonder they are the preferred option for motorists!