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All you need to know about the different types of crash barriers

Different types of Crash Barriers

Ensuring safety for traffic movement on highways and road systems is a challenging task. With accidents increasing at an alarming rate each day, road safety becomes inevitable. Empowering roads with proper safety barriers help minimise the extent of risk and damage to vehicles and passengers by absorbing the impact energy during accidents. This is where the need for a crash barrier arises.

Benefits of Crash Barriers

Crash barriers actually serve as the safety measure for motorists, pedestrians preventing roadside hazards. While most of the people might think as simple fences that prevents vehicles going off the roads and highways, but they are highly engineered and have five major advantages that are listed below:

Enhancing Safety on the Roads:
These barriers are used to protect traffic from hazards such as steep slopes, sharp bends, etc. that might otherwise cause rollover crashes. Crash barriers are designed to increase the safety on roads and highways. They also prevent vehicles from entering opposite lanes thereby lowering the risk of dangerous crashes.

Help in Minimizing the Impact of Collisions:
Generally, during a highway collision, the vehicle tends to go sideways. The tires of the vehicle go and hit the barrier which then redirects the vehicle back onto the road. This phenomenon often helps in minimizing the damage to the vehicle.

Need Very Less Maintenance:
In comparison to other forms of road safety barriers, crash barriers need very less maintenance. Designed with robust engineering, the crash barriers can withstand high impacts.

High Visibility:
Accidents on highways mostly during night time when the visibility is low. The crash barriers were made with metal and highly visible even during the night. Thereby very effective in avoiding accidents and also prevents vehicles from going off the road.

Strong and Durable:
Made tough, the crash barriers can withstand harsh weather conditions and last for as long as 30 years and more.

Types of Crash Barriers:

Based on shape, size and components used, there are two types of crash barriers for highways. They are the W-beam and Thrie-beam Crash Barriers. These can be categorized into:

  • Single sided crash Barrier
  • Single sided Double beam crash Barrier
  • Thrie-Beam single sided crash Barrier
  • Double sided single W Beam Barrier
  • Single sided Thrie-Beam crash barrier with End section
  • Single sided crash barrier with End section

The Specialties of W-Beam and Thrie-Beam
Types W-Beam: Thrie-Beam:
The Specialties


High on performance


Ideal for reduced deflection

Ideal for high impact resistance

High resistance


Apt for speed traffic


How to select the Best Crash Barriers?

While selecting the best crash barrier, the following factors should be kept in mind:

  • The installation requirement
  • The flexibility of the chosen barrier
  • The barrier terminal treatment
  • The required length
  • The transition of one type of barrier to another

In addition to keeping these factors in mind, the barriers should always conform to the International specifications like AASHTO M 180 Guardrail, Euro norm (EN 1317–1&2), Indian Road Congress Standards (IRC), etc. If the product adheres to these norms, it is assured that they are manufactured with high grade quality of raw materials that provide superior strength and stability.

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