We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Crash Barrier?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
WikiMotors is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WikiMotors, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A crash barrier is a piece of traffic safety equipment which is designed to keep cars on the road and in the appropriate lane of traffic. When a car collides with the crash barrier, the barrier is supposed to gently push the car back into the roadway, ensuring that it does not run off the road or into another lane of traffic. There are a number of crash barrier designs in use around the world, and the basic engineering of these barriers is periodically adjusted to address changing trends in car and road design.

The earliest crash barriers were guardrails, made by mounting a rail on a series of posts. This type is still in use today in many regions of the world, with varying levels of reinforcement from traditional guard rails to the super-rail systems used in Europe to contain heavy trucks. Guardrails were followed by concrete crash barriers molded in a variety of wedge shapes, as well as plastic barriers filled with water or sand. High-tech crash barriers made from memory plastics are capable of deforming on impact, and springing back into their original shape when the car is removed.

In addition to the super-rail, some other common crash barrier designs include the concrete step and constant slope barrier, both of which are made from molded concrete, along with the wedge-shaped Jersey wall. The Jersey wall was actually first invented and deployed in California, not New Jersey, but it is in widespread use across the United States, from the notorious Grapevine where the Jersey wall was first deployed to the streets of New York City.

Crash barriers can be used for tasks beyond keeping cars in the right place. They are often used in urban environments for safety, to keep cars out of restricted areas, and to increase security around vulnerable buildings. Concerns about suicide bombers and car bombers have led some cities to surround government buildings with concrete crash barriers in order to obstruct cars and secure these areas.

Although the goal of a crash barrier is to push cars back into the road, these barriers can fail. Poorly-constructed barriers may collapse, allowing a car to run over the crash barrier and off the road or into traffic. In other cases, a crash barrier designed for basic vehicle traffic may fail when it is hit by a truck which is larger and heavier than the vehicles the barrier was engineered for. Motorcyclists are also vulnerable to accidents with crash barriers, as they can be flipped over them and into oncoming traffic upon impact.

WikiMotors is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WikiMotors researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon964901 — On Aug 07, 2014

What makes an effective crash barrier?

By panther64085 — On Feb 18, 2009

Where would a person go to find out the force needed to severely bend a metal guardrail? Would a vehicle traveling at 35 mph after striking the center front of another vehicle do it?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.