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Road Traffic Safety Barriers

written by: Chief Engineer Mohit Sanguri • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 1/20/2010

Life is precious, and should not be wasted by road accidents. Use of the road safety features and proper driving may prevent road accidents. The roads have been designed keeping in view the human factors in road safety. Safety posters and slogans can influence humans towards safe driving.

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    Importance Of Road Safety

    Risks will always exist that are related to road safety, and their total elimination may not be possible. However, all risks, including roadImportance road safety  driving risks, can be mitigated by the implementation of appropriate remedial measures. The state and the general public have a responsibility to control and manage road risks. The human factors in road safety should be the prime parameter while designing roads. Safety posters and slogans, and observing a horrific accident picture do have a positive effect on the human mind. Drivers may benefit from the shortest driving instructions that are available at several training institutions. Road safety must constantly be kept in mind. Each individual is responsible for the road safety. The circumstances on the roads are unpredictable, due to which it is only proper planning, implementation, and conscientiousness that can assist to reduce the road accidents. Road traffic victims, injury, and suffering represent a severe universal state that adversely affects the lives of individuals. This is an important matter considering the financial effects on the state and the community. The state has the responsibility to arrange measures for the prevention of accidents, while the public is expected to strictly abide by the road safety regulations.

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    Safe Road Design

    The safe road design is an important feature that can significantly contribute to prevent road accidents. The better roads have banksSAFE ROAD DESIGN  on the curves to increase the vehicle stability. This is particularly important for the vehicles that have a higher centre of gravity. The roads should be cambered in accordance with the design analysis, with round surfaces. Such roads will decrease the ice and standing water, mainly to avoid the frost damage, and also increase the traction when the weather is poor. The roads should have suitable arrangements to facilitate drainage, particularly on the bends. The current road barriers, intended for safety, are designed to ensure maximum absorption of the impact, with minimum risk to the vehicle occupants. The side rails are firmly fixed with the ground, and the poles for lights are planned to fracture at the bottom, instead of stopping a car violently. The road fixtures like fire hydrants and the road signs are designed to fall on impact. The trees along the roads are removed to improve visibility. The guard rail ends are fitted with impact attenuators that slowly take in the vehicle kinetic energy. The vehicle slows smoothly before striking the guard rail end. Several other techniques are employed for the dissipation of the kinetic energy. Barrels filled with sand transfer the vehicle momentum to the sand.

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    Road Markings

    road markings The numerous hazards on the road are generally indicated multiple times, much before their appearance, to enable timely measures by the drivers. Mainly, the marking materials used for pavements and roads are reflective, including prisms or glass spheres that efficiently reflect light from the headlights of the vehicle. Thus, the driver can easily be warned about the dangers ahead. Lanes are distinguished by the use of Botts’ dots and Cat's eyes. Botts' dots are normally round raised markers for pavements that are not reflective. These markers are used for the marking of lanes on highways and main roads. Feedback is provided to the drivers while moving across the travel lanes. They are similar to rumble strips, and are generally white, but can be also yellow. The cat's eye is a safety gadget that is utilized in road markings. It consists of reflective glass that is fixed in a rubber casing. It marks the road centre for the convenience of the driver. Cat's eyes are primarily useful in haze. Furthermore, tone bands are engraved into the road edges that awaken the drowsing drivers when they move off the road edge. Tone bands may also be commonly called rumble strips. Alternatively, raised rib markings may be used that consist of a line marking, with regular diagonal ribs. They improve the edge description during wet conditions, or during darkness.