Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving



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This section looks at some examples of poor driving and the reason why barriers are constructed to protect other road users.

💡 Tips:

🛈 Info:

Dangers Lane Barrier

💡 Tips related to lane barriers

  • Head on: Never connect head-on into the end of a barrier (as shown in the accompanying picture) as the metal sheet could penetrate the cab of the vehicle. Newer barriers curly the metal sheet away from the vehicle, however we don't want to take a chance.

  • Stay alert: The most important tip when driving near barriers is to stay alert and keep your focus on the road. Barriers are usually installed to protect drivers from dangerous conditions, so it's important to be aware of your surroundings and keep your speed under control.

  • Maintain a safe distance: Always maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and any barriers on the road. If you get too close to a barrier, you risk colliding with it, which can be dangerous and cause damage to your vehicle.

  • Observe speed limits: Observe the speed limit and adjust your speed accordingly when driving near barriers. Speeding can increase the risk of accidents and make it difficult to react in time to any obstacles on the road.

  • Watch out for sharp turns: Sharp turns and curves can be particularly hazardous when driving near barriers. Slow down when approaching these areas and maintain control of your vehicle to avoid collisions with the barriers.

  • Be cautious in bad weather: Rain, snow, and ice can make driving near barriers even more dangerous. Slow down and maintain a safe distance when driving in bad weather conditions to avoid accidents.

  • Be aware of construction zones: Construction zones often have barriers set up to protect workers and equipment. Be extra cautious when driving in these areas and follow any posted signs or instructions.

  • Avoid distractions: Finally, it's essential to avoid distractions when driving near barriers. Keep your focus on the road and avoid using your phone, eating, or engaging in any other distracting activities while driving.

🛈 How crash barriers work

Crash barriers, also known as guardrails or safety barriers, are designed to protect drivers and passengers by mitigating the severity of accidents and preventing vehicles from leaving the roadway or crossing into opposing traffic. They work by absorbing the impact energy of a colliding vehicle and redirecting it in a controlled manner. Here's a general overview of how crash barriers work:

  • Impact Absorption: Crash barriers are typically made of strong, durable materials such as steel, concrete, or high-density plastic. When a vehicle collides with a crash barrier, the barrier is designed to deform or yield, absorbing the impact energy. This deformation helps to slow down the vehicle gradually, spreading the impact forces along the length of the barrier.

  • Deflection and Redirecting: Crash barriers are often designed to redirect the colliding vehicle away from potential hazards, such as oncoming traffic or fixed objects. The shape and structure of the barrier can cause the vehicle to deflect or change direction upon impact, guiding it parallel to the barrier or back into the roadway.

  • Energy Dissipation: Some crash barriers are equipped with additional features to further dissipate energy during a collision. For example, end terminals or impact attenuators are designed to gradually decelerate the vehicle, reducing the risk of severe injuries. These components are engineered to deform and absorb energy while redirecting the vehicle safely away from the barrier.

  • Containment and Barrier Types: Crash barriers also serve to contain a vehicle within a designated area, preventing it from leaving the roadway or crossing over into opposing lanes. Different types of barriers, such as W-beam, cable barriers, concrete barriers, or bollards, offer varying levels of containment and redirection capabilities based on the specific design and intended use.

It's important to note that crash barriers are designed to mitigate the severity of accidents but cannot prevent all injuries or eliminate the risk of collisions entirely. Proper installation, regular maintenance, and adherence to safety standards are essential for ensuring the effectiveness of crash barriers in improving road safety.

🛈 How road barriers stopped killing drivers

Road barriers, also known as guardrails or crash barriers, are safety devices installed on roads and highways to reduce the severity of accidents and prevent vehicles from leaving the roadway or crossing into opposing traffic. Over the years, road barriers have been continuously improved and designed to enhance safety. Here are some ways in which road barriers have helped reduce fatalities:

  • Improved Barrier Design: Road barriers have evolved to incorporate improved materials and designs that can absorb impact energy and redirect vehicles away from hazardous areas. For example, the introduction of energy-absorbing guardrail end terminals and breakaway posts has significantly reduced the severity of crashes.

  • Wider Installation: Road authorities have expanded the installation of road barriers in areas where there is a higher risk of accidents, such as curves, intersections, bridges, and medians. By providing physical separation between opposing lanes or preventing vehicles from leaving the roadway, barriers help prevent head-on collisions and rollover accidents.

  • Impact Testing and Standards: Road barriers undergo rigorous crash testing to ensure their effectiveness in different scenarios. Testing agencies and road safety organizations establish standards and guidelines for barrier performance, and these standards continue to evolve to improve safety outcomes.

  • Continuous Maintenance and Upgrades: Regular maintenance and repairs of road barriers are crucial to ensure their effectiveness. Damaged or outdated barriers are identified and promptly replaced or upgraded to meet current safety standards.

  • Roadway Design and Engineering: Along with road barriers, overall roadway design and engineering have improved to enhance safety. Factors such as clear signage, appropriate speed limits, improved sight distances, and better lane markings contribute to reducing accidents and making roads safer.

It's important to note that while road barriers have significantly improved road safety, they are just one component of a comprehensive approach to reducing accidents and fatalities. Driver education, enforcement of traffic laws, vehicle safety features, and awareness campaigns also play vital roles in creating safer road environments.

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Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving